We’ve made it! What a year 2019 has been. It’s been fast and furious, rewarding and tiring – but we’ve got there.
Each year the landscape that we are working within is shifting and changing. I think we would all agree that 2019 has been one of the most significant years in many where the adverse effects of lack of reform and self-regulation are finally starting to reveal themselves.
The facts may be hard to face, but this should also be regarded as an incredibly positive time. It now allows us to speak up, be heard and proactively propose change. More than ever, it’s incredibly important that we work together collectively in order to find ways to bolster the profession that we all hold very close to our hearts and to reach out to allied professionals, clients and contractors to find a way forward that supports all of us in delivering better outcomes.
We’ve spent the year working closely with the OVGA, ARBV, AILA, PIA, ACA, DELWP, CoM, Creative Victoria and various other government agencies to find ways to instigate reform and advocate for safe and quality-built outcomes.
The extraordinary work that the Large Practice Forum have undertaken over the past 18 months in relation to novation is testament to the notion of working collectively to make change.
We are actively advocating to government for fair and equitable contractual arrangements in order to provide a level playing field for all involved.
We are not interested in adversarial working conditions. This will never result in good outcomes. Our draft working document for a proposed National Code of Novation instigated by the Large Practice Ambassador firms, OVGA and Planned Cover, was recently presented to Minister Wynne. It was also recently tabled at the Building Minister’s Forum held in Canberra on the 13 December.
We are here to provide solutions to problems and to work collectively to understand how this can assist others.
The national Guidelines Expressions of Interest and Requests for Tender for Architectural Services that were released earlier this year and the survey reports produced for our National Novation Survey highlight the importance of research that allows us to develop policy, that in turn provides us with a platform for advocacy.
In 2019, the National Council unanimously supported the introduction of a Reconciliation Action Plan and a recent EOI calling for members to be part of the First Nations Advisory Group saw a total of 30 submissions.
This year, the Gender Equity Policy was reviewed and updated by the Gender Equity Committee confirming the Institute’s stance in relation to gender balance being a composition of 40% female, 40% male and 20% either or non-binary for representation and participation on any panel, jury, conference or committee. This is a tool that we are very keen for our members to support.
This is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the work and advocacy that has been undertaken this year by the Institute and its members.
There have been many other initiatives and wonderful contributions made by our members within the various committees. These include:
- Chapter Council Members
- Chairs and members of the Awards, Editorial, Education, Honours, Practice of Architecture and Heritage Committees
- Convenors and members associated with the Large, Medium, Small, Regional and Sustainable Architecture Forums
- Senior Counsellors
- Awards Jury members
- Emerging and Graduates Network EmAGN
- SONA representatives
- Continuing Professional Development presenters
- Members who represent the Institute on external bodies and forums – including Ian Sutter (ARBV) and our newly appointed board members: Catherine Duggan, Karen Alcock and Bruce Allen, Regina Bron (BRAC) and Adrian Stanic and Tom Jordan (Stakeholder Reference Group to the Cladding Taskforce);
The Institute would not be what it is without the significant and valuable contribution made by our members. On behalf of all of the Institute staff thank you, thank you.
I would also like to thank the Institute staff for all of their efforts. It has been an incredibly productive year and there have been many positive achievements as a result.
Wishing you and your families a very happy festive season and all the very best for 2020.