The Australian Institute of Architects is delighted to welcome Liehan Janse van Rensburg into the role of National Emerging Architects and Graduates Network (EmAGN) President, following a recent election by the National EmAGN committee.
The National EmAGN President leads the Emerging Architects and Graduate Network’s National Committee and is a member of the Institute’s National Council. These two responsibilities provide the EmAGN President with the ideal platform to focus attention on the important issues facing the EmAGN demographic and to advocate for changes that will better support the architectural profession into the future.
A MESSAGE FROM LIEHAN
I am honoured to begin my term as National EmAGN President, and to serve on National Council for 2024. I am taking on this role from our Immediate Past President, Tiffany Liew who has worked tirelessly to represent the interests of the EmAGN demographic. Albeit figuratively, she leaves some very big shoes for me to fill, and a legacy of inspiring initiatives including EmAGN and SONA’s collaboration on Sustainability Snacks, a clearer vision and purpose for the committee nationally, and a well-informed, workable Sustainability Action Plan.
EmAGN, the Emerging Architects and Graduates Network, is led by a national community of over 130 dedicated volunteers across nine committees in each state and territory of Australia. We support and advocate for architects and graduates within fifteen years of graduating from their Masters, and we are guided by the five pillars of Advocacy, Career Support, Community and Networking, and Awards and Recognition.
Representing not only early-career architects and graduates, but also emerging leaders in our profession, EmAGN currently makes up 35% of the membership nationally. As such a large, diverse group, we are uniquely placed to advocate for and affect change on the topics that represent our interests, and matter to our futures.
During my time as EmAGN President, I am particularly interested in working towards better diversity and inclusion in the profession; specifically, in amplifying First Nations voices, in continuing our work on bettering parental support in the profession, and in championing of newly-settled international architects and graduates.
All EmAGN co-chairs have expressed a keen interest in doing more on climate action and sustainability; both in terms of advocating (fighting) for a decarbonised building industry and educating ourselves and others. Our local committees are also working hard on including our regional members more, on registration support (in supplementation to the Institute’s very successful PALS program), and on mentoring. These will continue to be key areas of interest for EmAGN in 2024.
I particularly look forward to working closely with the EmAGN National committee, National Council, and the Institute Staff including Claudia McCarthy, Madelynn Jenkins, and the National Education Team, in the year ahead.
If you have any ideas, concerns, or possible collaboration opportunities for EmAGN, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For local inquiries, please contact your local EmAGN co-chairs through the links here. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at one of our events soon.
A registered architect in the Heritage team of Architectus Conrad Gargett, Liehan Janse van Rensburg completed his degree at the University of Queensland and has worked across a variety of project types, including multi-residential, commercial, health and institutional.
Liehan has contributed widely to the profession through various roles within the Institute and EmAGN, including on the Queensland Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Queensland Chapter Council, and awards juries. He is currently embarking on a new phase of learning in the world of heritage architecture and leading a series of projects for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Acknowledgement of Country
I acknowledge the Turrbal and Yuggera people as the Custodians of Meanjin where I live and work, and pay my respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging. I extend that respect to the Traditional Custodians of country throughout the place now called Australia, and recognise their profound connection to land, water, and skies.