Directors Message - 09 November 2020

Jasmine Ong, AILA National Director

The re-election of two directors Claire Martin and Katharina Niebeler-Walker to the AILA board, with Peta-Maree Ashford and Chris Tidswell re-elected to the respective roles of Vice President and Company Secretary adds continuity and stability to AILA’s governance. With strong governance brings about the prospect of focusing on the key issues at hand. The Covid-19 pandemic emphasises the imperative to progress climate positive design and environmental sustainability. This is my passion as a landscape architect and will form part of my mission as new Director to the AILA board. Concurrently I bring to AILA my global experience having worked in the UK, China and Australia.

I want to celebrate some recent milestones. I applaud the remarkable success of the AILA Land-E-Scape conference. With a swift shift to a virtual world, AILA and its volunteers swung into full gear to make this event successful alongside other challenges. The Gender Equity policy launch at the Land-E-Scape conference together with the election of our 5th female AILA National President, Claire Martin, in four decades represents a compelling advancement towards gender equity.

Image: Soju GangIn continuing our fight for equality, 8-15 November 2020 marks NAIDOC Week with the theme ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ (Aboriginal land). This week represents the strength and determination to not only continue the fight for equality but to bring recognition and awareness of the injustice our indigenous communities have undergone. I encourage you to partake in NAIDOC week events and any events your work or council have organised. 

Lastly, take advantage of the plethora of online learning opportunities that have grown immensely through the shift towards a flexible work environment. Check out AILA Events, and relevant organisations such as Urban Development Institute of AustraliaPlanning Institute Australia, Melbourne School of Design, RMIT, and MPavilion. Why not volunteer to support the City of Melbourne’s hospitality industry with PIA’s Melbourne Outdoor Dining Design Assist Program. The opportunities to learn and contribute are boundless. 

Jasmine Ong
AILA National Director
Image Artwork: (detail) Shape of Land, Tyrown Waigana.