National President's Message - 20 July 2015

All the AILA Annual Chapter Meetings are now complete and new Chapter executives have been elected. Congratulations to new office bearers and already we can see the energy you are bringing to AILA. On the election front don’t forget nominations for National Council close noon 24 July 2015.

National Council recently held its last face to face meeting in Darwin. A recurring theme of National Council meetings as we have travelled around Australia has been the terrific hospitality shown by local members. It has proven to be a great chance to hear about local issues as well as discuss broader activities taking place in other parts of the country. In Darwin it was also the first time crocodile appeared on the menu – and it doesn’t taste like chicken.

The following are some of the key resolutions from the National Council meeting.

  • The AILA Strategy was adopted. This key document outlines the priorities for AILA over the coming years and how these priorities will be actioned. Thank you to those members who provided input to the draft and the subcommittee responsible for preparing the document.
  • A draft of the new AILA awards program was discussed. An enormous of amount of effort, discussion and debate has taken place in the development of the program including seeking input from media outlets. An updated document will be circulation to the membership in the coming weeks with the goal of launching the new program at the 2015 Festival of Landscape Architecture.
  • A draft of the new AILA Constitution was tabled for discussion. The draft will be further refined, including expert input in key areas, prior to circulation to the membership for comment with an information session proposed to take place at the 2015 Festival in October.
  • An update on the 2015 Festival of Landscape Architecture was provided details of the exciting program of events taking place in Melbourne. Ticket sales are well ahead of last year and don’t forget early bird closes 31 July.
  • The preplanning for the 2016 International Festival of Landscape Architecture in Canberra was also discussed. This is shaping up as an event not to be missed and is bound to be a highlight of the AILA 50 year celebrations. I can’t wait to see the submissions from creative director (there is still time to put one together with submissions close on 27 July).

Many of you will have noticed Shahana provided an update to members in the last newsletter while I was on holidays. The feedback to the CEO update has been extremely positive. The report highlighted many of the areas Shahana and the AILA staff are actioning as well as events and activities on the horizon. As I have noted in previous messages, I’m convinced there has never been a better time to be involved in AILA. Working collectively we have created a foundation to elevate the status and influence of the profession at a time when society needs the skills that landscape architects provide. With new Chapter executives in place it’s a great time to attend a local meeting and remember there is still time to nominate for National Council.

Mark Frisby

AILA National President

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