From the National President

Clare Cousins

13 May 2019

Welcome and thanks

Congratulations to our incoming National President Helen Lochhead, who will take up the role tomorrow at our annual general meeting.

I thank Helen for her support over the past year as President Elect as well as her valuable contributions to the Board and National Council over many years. I wish her all the very best as she takes up the role. Her expertise in urban design and planning comes at a critical time for Australian cities facing population and infrastructure pressures. I am sure Helen will have a lasting impact on the Institute’s strong advocacy platform, particularly around these important issues.

I would also like to congratulate and welcome Alice Hampson to the role of National President Elect, and to our incoming Board director, Peter Hobbs (WA) and returning director Vanessa Bird (Vic). Knowing the depth and range of issues faced across the Institute, I look forward to the coming year ahead with you all on the Board.

After five impactful years on National Council, Richard Kirk is stepping down as Immediate Past President. Richard has provided me with immense support in my role as president. Thank you to Justin Hill (Singapore) and independent director Giselle Collins who have also stepped down from the Board. Their tremendous effort during their tenures, particularly over the last 12 months, is greatly appreciated and their expertise valued as we continue with our transformation of the Institute for the benefit of members.

Vale Enrico Taglietti

We were saddened to hear of the passing of esteemed Gold Medal winning architect Enrico Taglietti last week.

I had the pleasure of meeting Enrico in 2014 while the National Awards Jury considered his Apostolic Nunciature building in Canberra for the National Enduring Architecture Award. Known for his striking projects including Canberra’s Australian War Memorial Annex, Melbourne’s St Kilda Library and the Embassy of Italy Chancellery, Taglietti had a profound and lasting impact on Australia’s architectural history.

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1926, he came to Australia to coordinate an exhibition of Italian modern art and design in 1955. He settled in Canberra the following year and continued his practice well into the 2000s.

National conference set to challenge and inspire

As the final speakers are confirmed for this year’s National Architecture Conference, I’m excited that this conference is deliberately different. Curated by Monique Woodward and Stephen Choi, Collective Agency will focus on ways architects can transform contemporary challenges into opportunities. Its international and local speakers will challenge attendees to harness their collective strength, effect change and deliver social benefits.

We are expecting more than 1000 delegates to hear the bold ideas from the range of international and national speakers, including University of Johannesburg Director of Research, Lesley Lokko; Het Nieuwe Instituut Director of Research, Dr Marina Otero Verzier; aLL Design Director Marcos Rosello; and AD-WO co-Founding Partner Emanuel Admassu alongside his Australian born co-founder Jen Wood.

I encourage you to join us in Melbourne on June 21 and 22.

Thank you

It has been a transformative year and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved, the result of a huge collective effort. From the recently launched Procurement Guidelines for clients and government and the revised Client Architect Agreement, to our extensive advocacy on issues relating to building safety, banking practices, and the wanton demolition and misuse of our treasured public buildings.

There is still much work to do.

As I prepare to step into the role of Immediate Past President, I wish to thank the Institute staff for their counsel and assistance during this time of change. I’ve enjoyed getting to know so many of you throughout the past year.

I also thank our CEO, Julia Cambage, who in her first three months at the Institute has impressively grasped the opportunities and challenges the profession and organisation face. I have every confidence that the Institute is in capable hands under her leadership.

I would like to thank the National Council, Board and our many committee and taskgroup members for their tireless efforts and look forward to continuing our efforts to make the world a better place through architecture.

Clare Cousins
National President