Directors Message - 28 September 2020

Peta-Maree Ashford, AILA Vice President

AILA has a very exciting period of time upon us. Ordinarily October signals the forthcoming AILA Festival which brings us all together across the nation to learn and connect. Due to the global health disruption the Perth Festival has been delayed for 12 months and in its place this year we will experiment with a well-planned and curated Land-e-scape week.  I would like to acknowledge how nimble our team have been, moving to a virtual environment, with the Land-e-scape an example of our new normal with online events.  

This excites me greatly. While I am missing meeting colleagues face to face, the opportunity to provide so much online learning content is something AILA has been working towards with focus, over the past 12 months. I believe this will benefit those who ordinarily are unable to attend the festival due to distance and transit constraints. It also signals an adapting institute providing so many more CPD learning opportunities to our regional members increasing membership value.  

Culminating during Land-e-scape will also be the AILA National Awards, AGM and appointment of the new AILA National Board. 

The voting platform for three new National Board Directors has now closed.  Prior to the announcement of those successful, I would like to thank the eleven candidates for putting themselves forward for consideration.  There is significant time required to fulfil this role and we have been buoyed by the willingness of our members to take on the responsibility. 

From here the votes will be counted and the successful candidates notified. 

In 2018 the current board were fortunate to undertake a director induction over a 6 week period prior to officially forming as a board. We look forward to offering a similar process to the new Directors. The new board will form at the AILA AGM on Thursday 15th October.  Chairing the AGM will be Shaun Walsh’s last official duty before stepping aside as AILA National President.  

As this will be the last Directors message for the current sitting board, the board would like to collectively thank our members, staff, committee members, sponsors and partners for your constant support over the past two years.  We hope that we were able to continue the legacy of our previous board, with continuity of corporate governance through the staggered terms, and the next elected members. 

Whilst having already expressed this privately, we wish to make a more public acknowledgement to our outgoing National President Shaun Walsh from myself, Chris, Claire and Katharina. Thanks again for all the leadership and time you have contributed to AILA over the past 8 years (and more). AILA has been all the better for having you involved. Your legacy will be enduring but the one thing that sits firmly in my mind is describing yourself as President as ‘one of 5 leaders’. It became our mantra that strengthened our board and brought us together. I personally have grown as an individual and Director having known and worked with you. Your immediate presence will be missed

Peta-Maree Ashford, AILA Vice President