There’s so much activity going on! Please take a moment to read my quick run-down so you can see how hard we’re working on your behalf.
We’ve kicked off the year with a raft of submissions for the ACT Government including National Construction Code 2022 Implementation, comments on Developer Regulation and we will be making submissions on the Territory Plan and District Strategies and the Parliamentary Inquiry into Heritage Arrangements in the ACT. As always, your views are greatly appreciated. If you would like to be part of our advocacy efforts, please contact email@example.com.
We welcomed new and re-elected members Tynan Freeman, Vlasta Jeftic, Noam Maitless, Yuri Leong Maish, Sander de Vries, Kevin Miller, and EMAGN Co-Chair Mark Brook and SONA representative Nick Brown onto Chapter Council at our first meeting in February. We thanked and farewelled Councillors Karin Gustavsson, Scott Hodgson, Marcus Graham, and Kate Shepherd and EMAGN Co-Chair James Gaughwin and SONA representative Stephanie Williamson.
The ACT Government is delivering the most significant planning reforms this century in Canberra along with other important initiatives such as affordable housing and the future of our suburbs. Stakeholder groups are suffering consultation fatigue with the amount of engagement taking place. With this in mind, the ACT Chapter is actively participating in the Planning Reforms with support from the Institute’s policy team.
At a macro level, we have raised with the Planning Minister that we would like to lead a forum regarding the future vision for Canberra as the national capital as clarity is needed in this regard. The Planning Minister is supportive of such a forum.
The ACT Chapter’s advocacy effort has been marked by its collaboration with other professional and industry groups which has increased our impact and advocacy visibility.
ACT Chapter Delivering National Member Value
While the Chapter delivers value for ACT members, many of our initiatives also add value for Institute members nationally. These initiatives include the Contemporary Australian Architects Speaker Series, Chapter Partner DFK Everalls’ retirement and money-smart seminars and the monthly online Studio Share conversations where we regularly have members participate who are outside of Canberra.
ACT Government Relations and Advocacy
The ACT Chapter enjoys constructive relations with ACT Government Ministers such as the Building Minister and Minister for Heritage and the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Through these quarterly meetings, we can effect change for members. We have consistently raised on behalf of members lengthy delays on projects that need heritage approval, often up to 2 years wait. Based on our feedback and that of other groups, the Minister engaged a consultant to advise her regarding the operations of the ACT Heritage Council. After reviewing this report, the Minister took decisive action and disbanded the Board of the ACT Heritage Council. An interim Board will manage heritage functions. We have called for an architect to be on the ACT Heritage Council and encouraged members to apply. For noting, the disbanded Council did not have an architect as a member. The Chapter will be making a submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into ACT Heritage Arrangements in March 2023.
The ACT Chapter President supported by Chapter Councillors attend regular government consultative forums including Planning and Construction Industry Chief Executive Reference Group (PACICERG) and the Environment and Planning Forum. The Chapter has had representation on the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the Suburban Land Agency’s North Wright Compact Housing Development Project.
Architects with Pride
We were proud that for the first time architects were provided a float in 2023 World Pride and the Mardi Gras Parade over the weekend just past. Congratulations to the 80 members who represented the profession and sponsoring firms:
In October, ACT Chapter President Jane Cassidy and Councillor Scott Hodgson and ACT Executive Director Liz Lang met with ACT Building Minister Rebecca Vassarotti regarding mandatory CPD for ACT architects. The Minister has since referred the matter to the ACT Architects Board for advice as to how it can be introduced into the ACT.
Parliamentary Inquiry into Planning
ACT Chapter President Jane Cassidy also appeared before the ACT Parliamentary Inquiry into Planning in December 2022. We tabled a statement with the Committee before Jane’s appearance. Many of the points raised in our statement were used by the Committee in their questions to government witnesses.
Chapter Council Meetings with ACT Government
Council met with Ama King from Major Projects Canberra in November 2022 and Sanaz Mirzabegian who leads Procurement Reform in the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate of ACT Government in December 2022.
ACT Cladding Rectification Projects – Following a detailed letter from ACT Chapter President Jane Cassidy to Major Projects Canberra regarding the matter that architects weren’t eligible to lead ACT cladding rectifications greater than $1 million, government guidelines have been amended to allow registered architects to be eligible to act as project managers.
- NCC Industry Consultation Paper – 20 Feb 2023 The Chapter responded to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate’s (EPSDD) consultation paper on industry transition to NCC 2022.
- Draft New Territory Plan and District Strategies – The Chapter will respond early March 2023
- Parliamentary Inquiry into ACT’s Heritage Arrangements – due 3 March 2023.
A successful Studio Crawl was held in November 2022 with 4 practices and 10 undergraduates attending. Later in November 2022, the Beyond Uni Series held a conversation with National
President Shannon Battisson and students on running a business, advocacy, and standing up for what you believe in. Student work was profiled at the FADX exhibition at the University of Canberra in November.
Co-Chair James Gaughwin was a fantastic MC of the DFK Everalls Money Smart Event in October 2022 with lots of tips as to how to budget and plan for a healthy financial future. EMAGN held a successful annual ‘registration celebration dinner in December 2022. They have started the year with a PALS Information Session with great attendance by those architects interested in registration.
Studio Share – Monthly Member Conversation
Convened by ACT Member, Ben Walker, Studio Share continued its exciting line-up of speakers.
October – Judd.studio discussed the design of the fit-for-purpose health care building for Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health and Community Services which responds to Winnunga’s innovative holistic healthcare approach and the specific needs of Canberra’s indigenous community
November – Thomas Caddaye Architect spoke about the 2019 Bushfires and the impact on coastal architecture in the NSW township of Rosedale
February 2023 – We kick off the year with Sean Hogan’s presentation, Lines of the Land. Sean will be exploring the intersection between design narrative and indigenous knowledge.
Chapter Associated Events
- Canberra Low Carbon Housing Challenge Event, 15 November 2022. Public panel discussion and Q&A where architects, builders and home owners discuss designing, delivering and living in low to net-zero carbon housing in Canberra.
- Salon Canberra: ACT President Jane Cassidy in conversation with host Catherine Carter and guests, November 2022.
- Canberra Modern – Around the Block on Grey Street Deakin: Walking Tour Collaboration with Architect David Brand as part of Design Canberra, 5 November 2022.
- DIA Talks 9 November: From Silo to Collaboration. ACT Chapter President Jane Cassidy joined panellists Jodie Cunningham, CEO Craft ACT, Tom Skeehan, ACT Chair DIA, Cia Flannery, ACT President ALIA, Annabelle Pegrum, Board Member Alastair Swayn Foundation, and Dr Catriona Quinn, UNSW School of Art and Design.
- National Gallery of Australia book launch of VISION: Art, Architecture – 2 December 2022. National Gallery Director, Dr Nick Mitzevich and architectural historian Professor Philip Goad discussed the ambition and beauty of the National Gallery building. National President Shannon Battisson gave an opening address as to importance of this iconic building.
ACT Architecture Awards
Planning is full steam ahead for the ACT Architecture Awards on Sat 3 June at a gala celebration at the National Arboretum. There were 30 Awards entries submitted for 2023.
Fellowships and End of Year Celebration
Congratulations to our newest Fellows: Alan Morschel, Ben Walker, Yuri Leong Maish (L-R) presented by ACT Chapter President Jane Cassidy at the Chapter’s End of Year Celebration.
New Councillors Welcomed
At our February Meeting, newly elected Councillors Noam Maitless, Vlasta Jeftic, Tynan Freeman, Sander de Vries, Kevin Miller along with SONA rep Nick Brown and EMAGN Co-Chairs Holly Caton and Mark Brook were inducted into Council. General Manager Member Michael Linke and General Manager Policy, Advocacy and Education, Leanne Hardwicke gave presentations on topics including roles and responsibilities of Councillors, policy guidelines and stakeholder and media engagement.
Australian Architecture Conference
The ACT Chapter is thrilled that Canberra will host Conference in October. We are working collaboratively with the Institute’s National Events Team and the Conference Committee to deliver an amazing program in the nation’s capital.
The ACT Chapter farewelled ACT Events and Administration Francesca Cooper in January 2023. We have welcomed Vanessa Hindmarsh into this role and Vanessa looks forward to meeting members.
Our profession is only as strong as its members. We always welcome your participation in the Chapter’s committees and task-groups. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to become involved.