Update from Queensland’s EDIC Committee

Firstly, we would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Alice-Anne and the dedicated team at Queensland Chapter for their tireless efforts with reduced resources during the adversity of COVID-19. Their marvellous work includes rapidly adapting the awards program to online delivery, and supporting Chapter Council and Committees in a new and shared direction.

Chapter Committees comprise volunteer members with the passion to engage and contribute to discourse on a range of topics that are critical to the future of our profession. They also champion our collective voice, advocating with strategy and focus beyond the profession. We are pleased that updates on the Committees’ valuable and interesting work will be shared with members in this format. The Queensland Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (QEDIC) is delighted to contribute to the inaugural Committee Column in this newsletter.

While COVID-19 has disrupted the year in ways no one could foresee, we have continued working on several initiatives. On 12 March we hosted ‘New Name, New Game’, a trivia night to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event sold out and was a fantastic evening of networking and fun. We feel fortunate to have held this event as it was soon followed by the countrywide social distancing rules. Chapter staff, Council and the Committees have since been collaborating to adapt innovative ways of working, and continue to develop alternate programs to deliver services and events online to members. The Committees are currently working with the Chapter office to develop a range of webinars for members to be delivered in the near future.

Who is QEDIC? Both the Institute’s National and State Gender Equity Committees were redefined at the beginning of 2020, and our remit has broadened. New Terms of Reference are being drafted to reflect these changes, but in the meantime we can generally describe QEDIC as a committee that is dedicated to raising the voices and visibility of the incredibly broad range of individuals that make up our profession. We celebrate and value their diversity, and we work to ensure inclusion and equity are at the forefront of our policies, awards, education and opportunities within practices. We recognise the importance of progressing our collective understanding of reconciliation. In this regard we advocate for wider understanding and incorporation of Indigenous perspectives in education and practice.

QEDIC acknowledges that our members (students, academics and practitioners) face many challenges in these times. We really are in this together. We are acutely aware of the need to support each other more than ever, so feel it is timely to initially focus on the topic of mental health and wellbeing as part of the webinar series. Future webinar conversations from QEDIC will include such topics as intercultural design, LGTBQIA stories, and we plan to join our voices with the Education Committee to explore the topic of internships and work experience. We are currently contributing, along with the Education Committee, to the AIA review of the AACA National Standards of Competencies for Architects.

QEDIC acknowledges that the diversity in our profession gives us strength. It is fundamental to our relevance and for building sustainable futures in the rapidly shifting socio-political landscapes of these times. QEDIC has more than a new name. We have new direction and renewed vigour. This leads to our call out: with this change we have 3 positions for new committee members. We absolutely welcome and encourage interest from members of diverse backgrounds who are keen to contribute to these conversations and advocacy as new members of our committee. Please contact the committee by emailing qld@architecture.com.au to nominate and find out more information.

Tiffany Molloy (Chair)
On behalf of the QEDIC Committee

QEDIC L-R/T-B: Tiffany Molloy (Chair); Penny Campbell; Geraldine Dawson; Liehan van Janse; Katerina Dracopoulos; Belinda Allwood; John Price; Paola Incer; Bridget McNab