Last week the Institute met with the Victorian Planning Minister, the Hon. Sonya Kilkenny and the Department of Transport & Planning’s Acting Executive Director of Building, Andrew Grear to discuss general issues effecting the profession and the built environment. As the Institute’s first meeting with a state government minister for some time, it was important that the meeting briefed the Minister on a broad range of areas.
Topics discussed included the Architect’s Registration Board, the Office of Victorian Government Architect, project risks incorporating design and construct procurement, consultant contracts with arduous terms, social and affordable housing, sustainability, first nations, building reform including the government’s Framework for Reform programme as well as the Living Heritage Grant programme. The discussions were by necessity introductory and wide ranging and have set the groundwork for future more specific discussions.
Pleasingly the discussions were most cordial, and there appeared to be alignment on a number of the topics raised. The Minister commented that many of the Institute’s broad positions, including social and affordable housing, liveable urban spaces and sustainability also fit to the Victorian Government’s own policy objectives. The Minister has agreed to more regular discussions to brief and progress these issues and I will report to members on these as we progress.
This week sees the Institute host the International Womens’ Day breakfast in the Conversation Quarter at the State Library and the event is a sellout. With speakers including Jocelyn Chiew of the City of Melbourne, Kerstin Thompson of KTA, Neil Stonell of Grimshaw Architects, Julie Duncan of Housing Choices and Hilary Duff, this year’s Robert Caulfield Graduate Scholarship recipient, chaired by Linda Cheung of Architecture Media, the event promises to be a great moment in the Institute’s calendar and a tremendous recognition of gender equity leaders in our profession.
David Wagner FRAIA
President of Victorian Chapter