In 2018 as president of the WA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. I was excited to be asked to launch the edition of The Architect Work Rest and Play in 2018. Here is my speech.
The theme of Work Rest and Play is right on message with many of the things we are doing at the Institute.
As a profession, we must proactively advocate for our continued sustainability by supporting and celebrating healthy workplaces, that provide professional fulfilment, flexibility, work-life balance, ability to participate in parenting/caring roles along with opportunities for career progression and appropriate financial rewards for architects of all genders in line with social expectations for this century.
As a Chapter Council we are an engaged enthusiastic and diverse lot. We do have gender parity, we have councillors from both universities, reps from BMW, EMAGN and SONA, and architects representing all sizes of practice. Our ages range from 20 to late 60’s although our average age is probably closer to about 35 ensuring that we are relevant to our membership. Without exception we are all there to make a positive difference.
I feel that the Institute has for too long sat back and not actively advocated for our profession loudly enough. As a peak body I want to help empower the Institute to be the first port of call for policymakers and the media. One of my main goals is to redress the devaluing of our profession and of our value to the entire design and construction process
Other important policy issues that we intend to go to government with include:
- Affordable and Indigenous housing
- Procurement processes for both buildings and our professional services
- Advocating for the mandating of architects for multi-res over three levels and ensuring that design quality is at the fore front of planning through Design WA and
- Realising opportunities for architects to be involved in WA’s growth industry, tourism.
While much has been made of the fact that I am the first female president my role is to advocate for all our members. However, I would love to see an actual increase in membership of women overall and I would appreciate your help. As a working mum of four children and for a long time a single working mum I understand the isolation and frustration that female architects feel as they juggle responsibilities so as a Chapter, we hope to achieve things that make life easier for women and all architects in caring roles:
- CPD reform for non-practising architects and in the interim reducing the cost of our CPD’s
- Events that demonstrate the value of Institute membership
- Events that connect you with informal mentors and networking opportunities including a help line via our website
Finally, over the past year we lost three architects that made a significant contribution to our built environment. Darryl Way, John Lidbury and Noel Ryan. I knew both Darryl and Noel well and know that all three will be missed terribly by their families. I would like to make special mention of artist Anne Ryan, widow of Noel Ryan who is here tonight.