From the Tasmanian Executive Director

Photographer: Nina Hamilton

The last two weeks have turned our world upside down. I understand that at the moment there is a lot of uncertainty in the world and at home, and the intention of this message is to reach out to you all to outline the steps the Institute is taking in order to assist our members at this time and to check in with everyone. I’d also like to invite you all to attend our Member Forum tomorrow at 12:30 pm via Zoom. More details are below.

What is certain is that while our physical office is now closed, our team is still working remotely to assist you, and are all contactable via email or phone, as these have all been diverted to individual mobiles. All our existing meetings are going ahead via Zoom, and these have proven to be an important way of staying in touch with fellow members and an opportunity to provide support to each other. If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom, there’s a quick user guide here.

Nationally, a dedicated page on the website is being continuously updated with information relevant to the Institute’s COVID-19 response, and you may have already attended one of the ‘Lean In’ sessions that are taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, also via Zoom. Today’s session was titled Commercial Contracts and Operations During a Pandemic, and the discussion included force majeure and frustration clauses. These sessions are recorded and will be available to access via the COVID-19 page. We have also put together a Tasmanian-specific page, and as part of this, we are looking at providing free access to relevant CPD sessions that have been previously recorded. The first of these is the Introduction to ISO9001 Quality Management Systems, which will provide assistance to firms who are seeking Government pre-qualification.

One our members, and the Tas EmAGN co-chair, Scott Flett of Flett Architecture, who is also a builder, has put together a video and a guide for architects when undertaking site visits. Thank you so much for sharing this, Scott. Our members are a talented bunch, so if there’s anything useful that you would like to share with the membership, please let us know.

We recently wrote a letter to the Premier, outlining steps that will assist the building and construction industry during this time, have spoken to the Minister for Building and Construction, and have met with Master Builders Tasmania to see how we can focus our efforts together. We are continuing to reach out to other allied industries and local councils this week.

As you are likely all aware, the Federal Government announced their JobKeeper package yesterday, and the link to register your interest is here. Last week the Tasmanian Government announced a range of support packages, including the Tasmanian Social and Economic Support Package – Supporting Businesses and Jobs fact sheet which is most relevant to architecture businesses.

We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for everyone, and we would like to remind that all members that we are here to support you in any way we can.

 

Jennifer Nichols

Executive Director, Tasmanian Chapter
Australian Institute of Architects