Directors Message - 3 August 2020

I took the opportunity to tune into the AILA SA + NT Awards on Friday which clearly demonstrated the variety and enthusiasm in the industry and quality of landscape projects in South Australia and the Northern Territory. This event and other AILA State  Awards this year clearly displayed AILA’s and our profession’s resilience to find new ways to celebrate our professional achievements by recognising outstanding projects and individuals in the new COVID-19 world.

The stage setup, based on leaves, the presenters, including our own Daniel Bennett, and the professional production were remarkable. Proceedings switched effortlessly back and forth from pre-recorded messages (SA Minister, sponsors, welcome to country) to live stream of the awards presentations. The welcome to country was noteworthy because of its meaningful message, visual appeal, traditional owners’ teaching of welcome to country in their native tongue and local chapter manager all engaged in the message.

Logging into the event was only a click away and the chat line offered the opportunity to engage with others while the presentation was underway. A fabulous night in easy reach from the comfort of your home or office. Taking the leap from a traditional to a virtual awards night has been challenging and risky. There is risk in changing long held traditions treasured by all. However, the challenge was received positively by members, sponsors and AILA staff. It provides the opportunity to showcase hidden talents, bring out the best in individuals and demonstrate that AILA and its members 'do as they say’ – demonstrate resilience in a changing world by being able to adapt without losing their passion and identity.

I want to congratulate all involved in this year’s ‘exceptional’ way of presenting the AILA State Awards – and indeed this includes all other States - by embracing change and moving forward with resolve.

The 2020 AILA National Awards will be another step up in the brave new COVID-19 world and will be presented with online Land E-Scape in October this year. Land E-Scape will be a four day lead up to the National Awards with CPD events, project walk throughs and presentations from across the globe. The Land E-Scape is shaping up as a fabulous online event and will be a precursor to (the hopefully face to face) Festival of Landscape Architecture in Perth 2021. I encourage you to get involved and take the opportunity to contribute particularly if you haven’t been for a while. This is your AILA!

Get involved, stay safe and stay connected.

Kind regards,

Katharina Nieberler-Walker, AILA Director