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Questions and Answers about the AILA (State and National) Project Awards
Recently asked questions
If you have other queries, please ring or email them through to the National Office.
The question and answer will be added to the Q&A page.
What are the criteria and eligibility requirements?
A guide is available online in PDF format. However, please be aware that some details may change when the call for project submissions is made. You must check the final documentation that is circulated when the call for project submissions is announced.
Who may get an AILA Project Award - can I include the project collaborators or partners?
The project was a true integrated approach and other professionals were all involved and should receive the award as well?
No - that is not what these awards are about.
The AILA conducts these awards to recognise the work of its members.
These awards are essentially a peer review process whereby the Registered Members review the work of their peers, the Registered Members.
If there are teams involved, no matter how much of a collaboration, these award is about the recognition of the Registered Member's role or contribution as part of that team, partnership or collaboration or in whatever role they performed.
The principal consultant, the clients, collaborators or partners may be also attributed on the certificate and/or in other documentation - as significant partners.
The AILA does not present the award to these partners and collaborators – unless of course they are also Registered Members.
Are there different criteria for each category of awards?
From mid 2011 - there is one set of criteria that will be applied to all submissions under all categories (Design, Planning etc).
Submitting in to the State Awards - then the National Awards?
A project must be submitted in a previous AILA State Award before it is submitted in the AILA National Awards. This does not mean that the project needs to have been successful in winning a State Award - just needs to be submitted previous to making the National Award submission.
Are the winners of State Awards automatically submitted to the National Awards?
Whether the project is a winner or not, a separate project submission needs to be made into the National Awards.
The submission form is much the same, but please check, as over time the criteria and requirements do change and are updated.
Are there sub-categories in the Design Category?
There is only one major design category. The list provided is indicative as to what is included in this one major category.
Is the Urban Design Category new?
Yes. It was introduced in 2011.
Why is there a special Residential Category?
The AILA National Council is very aware that so many landscape architects work on residential work but feel as though the project awards are just for the big projects - big budgets etc. Not True!
We really wish to encourage those landscape architects working in residential work to consider putting in a submission.
The project will first be assessed against the design or planning or other criteria - and will then be moved over to the Residential category.
If your work is in residential garden design - residential landscapes or whatever - please consider putting in a submission.
We wish to portray through the awards the best of all landscape architects - and include some residential success stories.
How many slides can there be in the powerpoint?
As many as it takes to show the images/drawings plus the text - with the maximum number of images being 25 - and in total with images, captions and description text. 32 pages (PDF) maximum.
Why must the project statement be a word document?
The project statement must be a three pages word doc - (plus the client statement as separate page) - this allows for the text to be selected and used for publications and to be used online.
What is the one page summary (word doc) used for?
In most cases this is the text sent through to the media and other publications for publicity - as well as for the summary in booklets and online. It must be a word doc - it must not be a pdf - it must be one page only - and not in a tiny font!
How important is it to clearly address the criteria?
Both in the text and within the powerpoint (or pdf) presentations you must clearly address each criteria separately. If the jury does not get it in the first reading - then the submission may not make the first short listing.
What if I cannot get hold of the client to get the client signature?
It is preferred that the client sign the submission to indicate that permission is given. If this proves impossible, then the submitter must make a statement and take responsibility that the client has given the permission.
Can I provide more than the specified number of slides/images?
No - jury members are asked to reject presentations that do not follow the submission criteria. It does happen! that is juries have just canned submissions - in the past they were at times confronted with about 80 slides!!
Hint on the images: it is a waste of slides to show the mayor opening the site, or to show lots of slides of the hard landscape, when the point of the submission may be the innovative use soft materials, such as soils, native plants and water recycling.
Levels of Awards
In previous years there were levels called Merit and Commendation.
These two levels were not fully understood. There is now just one main level of award - the (State/National) Award - with the Excellence and the Medal being the higher awards.
So no more Merits and Commendations and lack of understanding of which was the highest and what is a commendation?
The Landscape Principles
The Landscape Principles refer to the Australian Landscape Principles and the relation to Climate Change. There are guides to how these must be addressed.
Special jury citations are NOT separate awards and are NOT a separate category. They are to be used as special citations (a special one line note) to an award.
In the past, some state groups have conducted special presentations. These have now been eliminated for all states.
Submissions will be assessed using the documentation submitted only.
The national and state juries do not carry out formal site visits.
This means that the submission must rely on the stuff provided as part of the submission - nothing else. no visits and no special presentations.
This allows for equity across the country and for those with sites unable to be visited.
Award entries from NT
Under normal circumstances, a submission cannot be accepted for the National Awards unless it has previously been submitted to the relevant state awards.
Due to a number of factors, the AILA NT state awards were not offered this year.
Therefore, in order not to disadvantage any local projects, submissions from NT firms will be considered if they were to be now submitted directly into the National Awards.
Remember that there are four main categories and within those categories there are flexibilities and criteria to assess all forms and sizes of projects and initiatives. There is also a special call out for residential work by landscape architects.
If in doubt, please call the National Office for advice and guidance.
Award entries from Registered Members situated overseas
Overseas project may be submitted by practices located overseas – a practice need not have an office in Australia to submit.
The project being submitted must have been overseen by an AILA registered member.
For overseas projects, the condition 'that the project must have been previously submitted for a State Award' does not apply.
That is, the project need not have been previously submitted to a state award.
Other variations on national award submissions by overseas Registered members should be discussed with the National Office to ensure the submission will be allowed.
Recognition of former RLAs / employees
Organisations may submit into the AILA project awards for projects that were designed by or overseen by Registered Members who have since left their employment provided the former employee, being a Registered Landscape Architect, is fully recognised in the submission.
For example – and there may be other variations to these: The former employee may be asked to submit for the project with full recognition for the former employer. Or The organisation may submit using the Registered Member’s name.
If successful, an award may be awarded to the Registered Member with the employer receiving full recognition, as if still employed.
There are two key tissues that need to be addressed as part of the process: Firstly that the former employee, the Registered Member, is to be fully and freely recognised. Secondly that the former employee is satisfied with the project outcomes, eg they may have left before the project was completed and/or need to be satisfied that the integrity of their project design is still being met.
If the organisation is not prepared to provide such unrestricted recognition, then the submission would most likely be not accepted.
If the former employee is not able to agree to the submission being made, then the submission will not be accepted.
In submitting such submissions involving the work of a former employee, those making the award submission must agree that the final decision for acceptance of such submissions rest with the AILA and where necessary will be referred to the CEO for the final decision.