National President's Message - 23 November 2015

Friends and colleagues,

It has been a very tough week in Europe and further afield.

The events in France continue to occupy our thoughts, and as a society we clearly abhor the violent and senseless loss of life. We stand with the people of France in solidarity.

Let us also not forget there are unfortunate and terrible events like these all over the world at any given time.

Let us hope that all cities, towns and places that suffer loss and destruction are rebuilt and rekindled with the positive human spirit that made them in the first place, and for these places to recover and become stronger and better than ever.

It is incredible how events can change a place in an instant; often through no physical change other than the hurt those events do to the people who inhabit them.

As I constantly ponder and think about cities and places, it is obvious how the common element to all places is people. Let us not forget them.

After all, our profession is made of people who design and manage places for people. Think about your role: the specification you are battling will result in someone building something; the sketch you are working up that may inspire others will end up somewhere; the meeting with the difficult client will be resolved eventually, leading to an outcome; the timesheet you have to fill in will enable the firm to continue to invest in you; that Photoshop perspective you’ve been labouring over for days will end up conveying ideas to be tested and critiqued; the CPD event you need to attend will have some impact on your development and lead to an outcome for something.

All of these things have one aim in mind: outcomes that will define something you have achieved, regardless of scale or importance.

I’d ask you to stop and remember the little things: the beauty of a clutch pencil, the detailing of a beautiful piece of street furniture, the conversation you had with someone regarding a positive outcome, the silly hat you made and wore on Melbourne Cup day, the simplicity of Helvetica as a font…

Lastly, your new AILA Board meets for the first time in Sydney next week (27/28 November), with my thanks to HASSELL for allowing us to use their waterfront studio. We have a jam-packed agenda. I look forward to sharing the discussions and outcomes with you.

The Board is continuing an initiative commenced in the last term to meet as many members as we can in the places we meet. So please come along to the NSW Drinks on Friday night, share your stories and most importantly say hi.

Daniel Bennett AILA

National President

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

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