National President's Message - 18 July 2016

The Australian Centre on China in the World by Redbox Design Group. Image: Max Yarra

Friends and colleagues,

Firstly I’d like to offer my congratulations to the re-elected Turnbull Government, and AILA looks forward to working with the new government across a range of advocacy issues.

As members will be aware, AILA presented the major parties with our position on many issues prior to the election. A summary of the election responders for the major parties can be downloaded here.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our corporate partners for their ongoing support of AILA and the profession. Some of our most successful programs would not have been possible over the last 12 months without them and their support. These include the Festival of Landscape Architecture, My Park Rules, Landscape Technicals (which are free for AILA members) and Exploring Landscape Architecture videos, to name a few.

We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive and I hope as members you have noticed how their contribution has allowed AILA to do things that were not previously possible. Another benefit to members is that our partner program has resulted in a doubling of staff resources across all chapters over the last 2 years, allowing AILA to do more and have a stronger voice locally.

I am very privileged to be judging the 2016 AILA National Awards later this week, and in our 50th year, the standard of entries is outstanding. The jury's job is going to be very difficult!

I am also very pleased to report that we are approaching a sell out for our 2016 Festival of Landscape Architecture. There are still tickets left, however now is the time so you don't miss out...

As outlined in my last newsletter, the Festival's film competition, AnthropoScene, closes on August 1, so I hope you are all out there filming and editing....submit your entries here.

Planning is well underway for the 2017 Festival of Landscape Architecture, and we are now seeking expressions of interest from Creative Directors, to curate and shape the theme and program, so if you are interested or know someone that might fit the bill, please contact the National Office for more information. Every Festival sets the standard higher and higher, and this is your chance to make your mark on the profession, as well as shaping the agenda and conversation.

Your National Council is meeting this week in Sydney with a very strong and strategic agenda, which includes selecting the content of The Parks Changing Australia exhibition. The exhibition will be held at the National Museum of Australia as well as Virgin Australia Lounges across five Australian Cities. More on this soon.

As part of our face to face Sydney board meeting, we are holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) for members to vote on our historic but necessary changes to our constitution. The meeting is being held in Hassell's Walsh Bay offices, and I encourage all local members to come along and vote and be part of this very important meeting. If you cant be there, you can appoint a proxy to express your vote. All details regarding the Constitution EGM can be found here.

AILA has a very strong and effective committee community, which helps us shape and inform the delivery of many programmes for members, as well as providing valuable advice to National Council. We value the efforts and commitment of all who join a committee or working group, it is also a great way to contribute your expertise to the profession, and also network with like-minded members across Australia and even beyond. As a result of some changes, we have opportunities for members to join our Practice and Continuing Professional Development committees. Find out more here

As the wild weather washes across the south east of the continent, I hope the holidays offer some respite, some good snow if you are skiing, or some time indoors by a nice fire with a good book and a nice red...

I hope to see you at our special EGM later this week if you can make it, otherwise, drop me a line, I'm always happy to hear from you.


Daniel Bennett

National President

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