From the Chief Executive Officer

 

8 May, 2017

Hopefully many of you were able to experience the National Architecture Conference – PRAXIS at the end of last week, either in person or by following along online via the blog .

It was an energising few days and I congratulate Ken Maher and Professor Helen Lochhead on curating an excellent conference featuring a broad spectrum of inspiration – from snapshots to keynotes to lively discussions. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the team at the Institute for delivering a spectacular event.

As the largest gathering for the profession, it was an honour to address delegates at the opening of the conference, welcoming them ahead of the engaging speaker presentations and also reiterating the refreshed focus of your Institute.

We are a changing organisation. We have a number of things that we need to focus on but all revolve around our members – actively advancing the practice of architecture, promoting the contributions of the profession and cultivating lifelong learning for members. The Institute is taking a lead in advocacy of, and for, the profession. We have taken the opportunity to raise our profile through political forums, media opportunities and submissions to government at a federal and state level.

We will be mounting a campaign over the next few years in terms of advocating the value of architecture and the impact it makes on people’s lives – this will be at the heart of all our messages to the public and to government. We will be more outward facing in our activities to ensure that those messages are heard loud and clear.

We will also be providing guidance on what our views are – from our recent discussions on affordable housing, multi-residential standards, higher education and internships policy. We will be addressing the issue of a federal government architect and will be making sure that architecture is seen as something that is for everyone. We will also be constantly talking about the value of the architectural profession to the health and well-being of society.

What we now need is member engagement in making it happen. Every member brings a potent combination of passion and influence to her or his membership that — if leveraged — can powerfully accelerate the Institute’s advocacy strategy. As an institute we have been quiet for too long, relying on others to have a voice. We need you, as members to engage in the political debates. We need you to represent the profession in whatever way you can.

The most effective professional and industry organisations have recognised that successful advocacy does not require stepping into the quagmire of partisan politics. It simply means using our voices as committed and informed champions of the profession. All of us are the ambassadors who can bridge differences in opinion, turn ideas into solutions, and make good things happen.

You may have seen that the recipients of the Institute’s National Prizes including the Gold Medal were revealed throughout the conference program. I would like to extend my congratulations to our 2017 Gold Medallist Peter Elliott and all the recipients for their incredible contributions to the profession. You can read more about the winners here.

Ahead of the conference, National Council met and I’m pleased to share that nationally-elected councillor Clare Cousins was voted President Elect effective from our upcoming Annual General Meeting on 16 May when Richard Kirk takes over the presidential reins from Ken Maher.

At the AGM our Corporate Members (Members Level 1, Life Fellows, Fellows and Affliates Level 1) will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed special resolution to amend the Institute’s current Memorandum and Articles of Association. This is another opportunity that expands on the governance changes adopted last year that will better enable the Institute to serve our members. Read more here.

On a final note I would like to extend my very sincere thanks to Ken Maher, National President for his guidance and support over the past 12 months. Ken and Jon Clements have both provided invaluable guidance to myself and the staff at the Institute, working tirelessly for the membership and profession at large.

Jennifer Cunich
Chief Executive Officer