As the year races by, it is time for another update from the Institute, which, as always, covers a lot of ground.
The year began with a sincere thank you and farewell to experienced Chapter Councillors Nic Brunsdon, Kate Hislop, Peter Hobbs and Kylee Schoonens, and a welcome to new members Louise Johnston, Rebekah Stuber and Clancy White. It is wonderful to see young architects interested and participating on Council. Thanks as always to ongoing councillors David Hillam, Ben Caine, Lara Mackintosh, Robert Slavicek and Amanda Hendry (President of EmAGN).
The organisation is in a good place and at the start of the year, National Council adopted a Strategic Plan for 2018-2020, giving elected members and the Executive a clear vision for the medium term and an unequivocal focus on leadership, advocacy and member value. It identifies what is expected around our core business activities and how the Institute should ultimately become a more influential organisation. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the strategy on our website here.
As a Chapter Council we have worked within the framework of the strategic plan and selected the issues to work on this year – the things that are important to members. These are tough times for our profession in WA, so it is incumbent upon the Institute to advocate and support members as strongly and effectively as possible.
In line with our agenda on procurement, we are meeting with Ricky Burges, CEO of WALGA, to discuss the parlous state of local government procurement, affecting so many in our profession. We are also speaking with BMW about its procurement panels. The Institute has an opportunity to source from the membership, expertise and mentoring to assist a growingly inexperienced workforce in local and state government.
Our Gender Equity (and Diversity) Taskforce, chaired by Michael Gay meets monthly and is planning regular events for both men and women in the coming months. Our second #WorkWomenWisdom gathering will likely be held in May and will again be for female professionals (members and non-members). This time we will focus on the #TimesUp movement and issues around fairness, safety and equity in the workplace. We plan to have a representative from the Equal Opportunity Commission talking about the legislation and the pathways for complaints.
We have also had some great traction in community media with regular columns in The Post about why readers should #useanarchitect, the value that we bring to a project and the scope of our services. Look out for my monthly column online and in the paper.
For the past three months I have been one of four hosts interviewing architects and their clients in the second season of ‘Australia by Design’. The show will be aired in June and July on Channel 10 and is a wonderful opportunity for us to tell an aspirational audience about the value of architects and architecture. We have had some ripper quotes from clients articulating really succinctly why they used an architect.
Our collaborative series ‘Future Opportunities in the Built Environment’ continues and the last event looked at mental health issues around drug and alcohol addiction. A troubling issue confronting many in our profession, particular at the construction phase. The next event is being planned so again, keep a lookout for details.
That’s probably enough for now. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.
Suzanne Hunt FRAIA