Directors Message - 14 September 2020

Shaun Walsh, AILA National President

The AILA Elections are upon us and its great to see the breadth of experience in candidates seeking election and re-election. Put simply if we don’t have a great AILA we don’t have great landscape architecture in Australia, and the continuance of quality corporate governance is essential. The best of luck to all candidates, and for members please ensure you scrutinise the candidates to ensure you vote for candidates that best align with your perspective and bring the best to AILA leadership.

This is my final Director’s message after being continuously involved with the AILA National Board at an executive level since 2012, including serving three terms as an elected director and one year as a chapter president: the October AGM will be my final engagement.

It is time for the profession to see new leadership and fresh voices, but at the same time, the change that has enveloped our organisation since 2013 has been fundamental to the discipline’s capacity to respond to future change. The fundamental reform of our corporate governance and financial management platforms, the reform of our annual awards program, our Reconciliation Action Plan, our Gender Equity Study, and the ongoing revamps of our communications platforms (more work still needed!) are particular highlights I recent years. Thanks to all the Directors, Chapter Presidents, Committee Members, Award Juries and Members and AILA staff I have worked with since 2013, as I have always tried to lead with the culture of being “one of a group of leaders” dedicated to ensuring diversity and equity in our collective voice and actions. I am proud to have been deeply involved in AILA’s steady evolution over the past few years, and will continue to be landscape architecture and landscape planning’s most passionate supporter. 

I am looking forward to the broadcast and participation in the AILA National Awards and Land-E-Scape: Reset - Towards Healing.  The innovation under COVID-19 that has been implemented by staff and members is compelling, and our participation in annual intuitions such as the Awards and Festival are critical to our emotional well-being and continuance as an organisation, however different. One thing I ask you to do following these digital events:  make sure you reach out to a National AILA Award recipient or presenter of a compelling presentation at Land-E-Scape by phone or teleconference and offer them your personal thanks.  This is what we would normally do face to face at our events and this peer to peer recognition is the most valuable form of accolade, and a key part of the culture and values of our warm, collegiate and wonderful profession of landscape architecture.

Shaun Walsh, AILA National President