From the National President

3 August

After more than ten years of dedicated service to the Institute in the role of CEO, and after much careful consideration, David Parken has concluded that it is time for a leadership change in the CEO role at the Institute and has advised National Council of this decision at its meeting on 30th July.  National Council recognises the significant achievements that have occurred under David’s leadership and his continuous commitment to promoting the value of architects and architecture in the community and broader construction industry. David has overseen significant and transformative change at the Institute over the last decade through expanding the various member services, programs and events.

David will continue as CEO leading the staff and assisting the National Council while we embark on a process to appoint a new CEO. This will most likely take some months and the National Council is very pleased that David has agreed to continue to work and support the Institute during this process of change. I am sure you will all join me in thanking David for his passionate dedication and service to the Institute and wish him well for the future. You can read the announcement in full here.

ASBEC calls for urgent change

The Institute, as a member of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), has called on the federal government to create a Minister for Cities to focus on the country’s rapidly growing cities.

ASBEC, comprised of key built environment organisations, responded to the ‘2014-2015 State of the Cities Report’ by releasing its own report last month, outlining the need for urgent change.

‘Investing in Cities: Prioritising a Cities and Urban Policy Framework for productivity, prosperity and a better standard of living’ recommends:

  • The creation of a Minister of Cities to lead the federal government on cities policy
  • Intergovernmental cooperation and collaboration at all levels on cities policy
  • Collaboration with the private sector at all levels of government on cities policy
  • The implementation of transparent indicators across capital cities that measure areas such as sustainable land use, transport, housing diversity and supply and greenhouse gas emissions
  • The development of a transparent 30-Year-Infrastructure-Plan led by Infrastructure Australia.

ASBEC President and Institute President Elect Ken Maher said ‘Australia is one of the world’s most urbanised countries. With our cities growing so quickly, we need governments to deliver policies that maximise their value and protect the ‘liveability’ we are world-famous for. With this report ASBEC has delivered clear next steps for all spheres of government.’

‘Poor urban policy and design causes more than just traffic jams and air pollution. We already know Australia is sitting on a $53 billion per year cost of congestion time bomb; imagine what that means for the quality of life of the average commuter, let alone lost productivity. The greatest value can be achieved from infrastructure investment if it is integrated with the planning and design of our cities.’

Canberra Accord visits Tasmania

The Canberra Accord was signed in 2008 – initiated by organisations, including the Institute, that have established systems for accreditation of architectural education. It is a transparent peer review system for determining substantial equivalence of architecture degree programs. It facilitates international mobility of graduates of architecture and contributes to improving the standard of architectural education through benchmarking.

In August, Australia will be the subject of a Canberra Accord System Review at the University of Tasmania in Launceston. Canberra Accord reviewers Professor Jaeho Shim (Korea) and Yuhang Kong (China) will join the National Visiting Panel to observe the accreditation process in action.

Kind regards,
Jon Clements
National President