News from AILA WA Executive 24 June 2020 - Carmen Williams
What a crazy half year we've had! If someone had of told me at this time last year what was to come, I'm not sure I would have believed them! I think we are very fortunate to be living in WA, one of the times it has been of benefit to live in one of the most isolated cities in the world. Due to COVID-19 we had planned on doing an online Awards event, however, as WA has relaxed all but a few restrictions, it has been decided after careful consideration and risk planning, to have a face-to-face event. Quite a number of WA members have reached out to me recently and overwhelmingly wanted to get together for the highlight of the Events calendar - the Awards. Member safety is our number one priority and we have developed an AILA COVID Safe Plan to return to face-to-face events and covering all bases in terms of risk mitigation. Our Awards will be held at The Old Pickle Factory in West Perth, but we will also be recording the event for those who are unable to attend. Tickets are now on sale.
News from AILA WA Executive 11 June 2020 - Belinda Foster
What a start to the new decade we have had!
As we seem to lurch from one crisis to the next and with life is slowly transitioning to 'normal' as COVID-19 restrictions ease, I want to encourage everyone to take the opportunity do a stocktake — what do you value?
My family and I learnt over the last few months, as things we took for granted were stripped away, that many things we deemed important were superfluous. We also learnt we had forgotten to truly value or be grateful for the one thing that for us, made isolation a pleasure rather than a burden. For my family, this can be best summarised as connection.
Connection to Community - We learnt to value our time with friends and family as it was precious. We made many new friends within our street and community as everyone reached out to support each other. From drive by Easter parades at the primary school, to fund raising for essentials for our local aged care home and shopping for the elderly, we felt part of something bigger than ourselves.
Connection to Nature – With the amazing Autumn weather we spent our time gardening, bushwalking, whittling and painting. We remembered the satisfaction that comes from slowing down and taking the time to be, to listen and to discover.
Connection to our Past – We learnt resilience from our Great Gran, who at 92 learnt how to use Zoom so she could stay in touch while in isolation. To see how someone who lived through the depression, wars, the loss of children and family approached this with grace and positivity made us realise how much we have to learn from our elders and how important they are in helping us find perspective.
I do not think I am alone in this. We have seen over the past months that Australia has decided that we value our elders.
That we value cohesion.
That we look after one another.
I hope that we can all reflect on this and apply this to our work.
That we can all learn from our shared history and culture and that destroying it belittles us all and leaves us ill equipped to deal with our ever-changing environment.
That protecting the natural environment and delivering quality open space is essential to building social capital and to our continued health and wellbeing.
That we all need each other.
News from AILA WA Executive 26 May 2020 - Christina Nicholson
In the midst of a greater focus on public open space due to the social distancing required of a pandemic, it is by chance that our level two studio project this semester at the UWA has a design brief that focuses on transforming a wooded urban park into an urban community hub/town centre. The site is Read Park on Albany Highway in the Town of Victoria Park, the long bustling high street that the community is proud of. Working with one of the Town’s landscape architects, Pierre Quesnel, Senior Place Leader (Urban Forest), we discovered that the community is unique in that it wished to remain a Town instead of being labelled a “City” and also that it was the community that had pushed forward the agenda of urban forest.
As urban infill reduces private outdoor living and green spaces, we see greater pressure on public open space in our cities. As well as this, the students need to address climate change and biodiversity loss; what does a town centre of the future look like? The most difficult thing for the students has been to visualise the transformation of a (colonially) beautiful open lawn site with no shrubbery and very large mature figs, oaks and other exotic trees, as a new kind of busy urban plaza that aligns trees, shrubs, turf and hardscape with specific solo and communal daily, weekly and seasonal activities.
At this time of social distancing and online learning, my students have really begun to understand a need for daily social interaction, sharing, supporting and celebration within a community and how they, as landscape architects can be impactful designers for urban communities. It turns out that during this pandemic, which science is now showing its transfer to humans is a result of biodiversity loss, we are starting to see a glimmer of more connectedness within our communities that lends itself to the desire for good landscape architectural design supporting healthy human and ecological communities.
This week is National Reconciliation Week and the 2020 theme is- in this together. I would extend the meaning of this to include not just our human communities, but also our flora and fauna. I believe that supporting the return of local species biodiversity is an act of reconciliation, and we can do this easily in our practice.
News from AILA WA Executive 15 May 2020 - Andrew Thomas
I am delighted to announce we have a new State Supporting Corporate Partner, Richgro. We are looking forward to having a long and mutually beneficial partnership with Richgro. They are a WA family owned and operated business which has been around since 1916. The Richgro Landscape & Commercial division specialises in the supply of high quality growing media, landscape soils, mulches and ancillary products. All products are subject to strict quality control procedures which are managed through the onsite laboratory. Some of you may also know of Amazon Soils which falls under the Richgro umbrella. We look forward to working with David Miles and the team at Richgro for many years to come.
We have a Zoom Forum for Local & State Government Landscape Architects coming up on 22 May as part of our Friday Virtual Series. We encourage all Landscape Architects in Government to join us, whether a member or not. Email Carmen for more information or to get the Zoom Link.
The Awards jury met on 4th May to deliberate over the 2020 Entries. Jury Chair Nathan Greenhill tells me it was a successful day with a lot of robust and interesting conversations. We have released a timeline of events for the Awards. Check out the eNews article for more information.
One of our Executive Members, Melanie Bradley came across this article on How to Green Towns and Cities in a Bushfire-prone Country which is worth a read.
News from AILA WA Executive 29 April 2020 - Andrew Thomas
I had the privilege of an online meeting last week with my fellow state chapter presidents from around Australia for a debrief of the most recent board happenings and our first all in meeting with our new CEO Ben Stockwin. It was a great opportunity to share what has been happening around the states and also get an update on what is happening at a national level following Ben’s arrival and the challenges associated with Covid 19.
Across many states there is a developing concern regarding construction legislation. In both NSW and QLD there is a threat to Landscape Architects operating as Superintendents for construction projects. NSW has draft legislation that the AILA NSW chapter is currently reviewing and providing comment to the government. The AILA QLD chapter have been working diligently with their local government regarding the same situation which has led to the registration process of landscape architects in the state being compared with other professionals that are currently able to perform the role of superintendent, namely Architects and Project Managers. At a national level this is furthering the debate around our registration process and the steps that would be required to attain the same registration standards as the Architects have via the Architects Registration Board.
As a result of these discussion we have been tasked at a state level to understand the current situation in WA and any possible changes that might be pending as we move forward. This will enable our national board to prepare a comparison matrix to understand where our advocacy efforts can be best spent as it is expected that the issues facing both NSW and QLD will be issues that are going to be faced across the country. So if you would like to help in preparing this information then please get in touch.
Additional AILA at a national level are working on a new plan that will see resources redirected to additional advocacy efforts across the country. This is important because our members across the country have been vocal in their desire to see more advocacy achieved by the organisation. This has resulted in advocacy round table groups being started in SA, WA, and most recently QLD and Vic. Additional funding in this areas is really exciting and we look forward to what can be delivered in the lead up to next year’s state election.
News from AILA WA Executive 15 April 2020
Students facing hardship are among the most at-risk in today’s global crisis. UWA is committed to helping all of their students through the COVID-19 crisis. Many domestic and international students are experiencing enormous challenges due to the loss of income and many other difficult circumstances. In response, UWA aims to reach every student in need to provide immediate relief. This includes emergency accommodation costs, well-being and emotional support, IT equipment and the delivery of welfare packs by staff and volunteers. AILA WA is kicking in $300 to the Emergency Student appeal. You can help too by donating, offering support, giving pro-bono support or mentorship. More Information
And finally some fun. We have a debate scheduled for this Friday via zoom. Join us at 4:30pm on Friday 1st May for some fun and frivolity as we debate the benefits of a gun toting, fencing building defensive society vs a sharing and welcoming socially connected one.
Also good luck to all of our members undertaking their registration interviews over the next couple of days and a huge thankyou to the interview panel.
April 2020, I like many others would never have predicted how the start of the new decade would begin. Over the past few months the way we engage with each other has changed, the way we exercise has changed and the way we do business has changed. Shopping restrictions and social distancing laws sound draconian and with the prolonged timeline predicted by many experts it is all too easy to predict a bleak future. However, as many landscape architects know all too well – constraints can also provide opportunity. A fact I now notice on a daily basis
I am lucky enough to live in a social neighbourhood where we know our neighbours, and kids play on the streets. But given the new living and working arrangements for many, we have started to meet our extended community (with appropriate social distance of course) as they explore the local surrounds more often. Plenty of over the fence chats and driveway discussions have been fantastic relief from the social isolation but they have highlighted other issues (opportunities) as well. Where do you take kids when the playgrounds are closed? Why are some parks more popular than others? Which streets do you choose to walk down in the morning vs the afternoon?
It is the simple nuances and design gestures that make great parks and create resilient communities, and it is these projects that landscape architects are best placed to respond to. As an industry, we can advocate for better design and promote the economic, environmental, community and health benefits for the broader population. With any luck, with more people on the street and in the parks good design is being put under the magnifying glass in our local communities. Providing us with an opportunity to engage with local council and local government to further the role of the landscape architect.
Make sure you stay tuned to the AILA WA newsletter and website over the coming weeks as we look to move our CPD and social events to an online platform. We are endeavouring to provide all the aid and resources available to our members in one place whilst ensuring we stay engaged and focused with our events. I encourage you all to attend the AILA WA Virtual Hangout on Friday (17 April) and other events and meetings where possible, to keep our community active and social and to create an open forum for communication and support.
News from AILA WA Executive 2 April 2020
In Year Three I had a teacher who from 1st November banned the C words; no one was allowed to mention Christmas until the day we broke for holidays. With the current Covd-19 saturation I am 100% on board with her approach. Unfortunately burying my head in the sand is not an option and I am riding the waves of emotion that comes with every piece of information about Corona. Probably the most difficult part is that we’re all in it, so unlike normal life crisis there’s no one removed from the situation who can give you their time and energy so you can have a good old fashion vent. We’re all stretched thin in our own way. Put this into a work situation (with potential economic stress on top) and it’s a wonder any of us are still functioning professionally. But for now the show goes on and AILA WA can, to some extent, provide a space to lean in, learn, vent and stay afloat together.
AILA WA has a dedicated resources page , here, which you can go to find relevant information on employee and worker rights, tips and resources for keeping mentally and physically healthy whilst working from home and online resources you might need working from home. Our committee is quickly amending our program to a suite of online talks, social events and workshops. We have some amazing awards night ideas to keep everyone isolated and entertained. And we are working on a bunch of advocacy moves to ensure our industry is in the best place to lead the economic recovery charge when the time comes. We have a Chapter Meeting on Wednesday 8 April at 9.45am, all are welcome to attend. Email Carmen for the Zoom meeting link.
We’re all in this together.
Lastly in order to bring the mood up I have a list of 5 ’small’ positives from this situation (in no particular order)
- I get to see my colleagues pets every zoom meeting
- Ugg boots on these slightly cooler days
- A commute to work
- Seeing my neighbourhood in the day time (especially window waves with my lovely neighbour!)
- Being home enough to water my pot plants and seeing them thrive
News from AILA WA Executive - 5 March 2020
The start to this year has been unusual for teaching staff and students at the UWA School of Design. All universities across Australia have students from mainland China unable to enter the country due to the mainland China travel ban. As well as this, at the School of Design, teaching studios is different as we introduced studio sessions of four hours instead of the usual three, delivered twice a week as normal.
UWA has committed to its students currently offshore that their graduation will not be delayed due to the travel ban. It has developed strategies to support those students as much as possible, including negotiations with the Chinese Government to allow online teaching and access for students in China to particular websites and platforms. There is a commitment to teaching the first four weeks of every unit online (China has only allowed access for four weeks), so many of us have been installing and learning to use new software to enable recording of classes.
Design studios however, rely on intensive face to face and peer interaction. The teachers at the School of Design decided that attempting to teach a studio online as well as in class at such short notice would be difficult and create a poor and unfair learning experience for the students offshore compared to those in the studio room. This is especially relevant for the landscape architecture studios as all have real sites and some have real project briefs in collaboration with local government landscape architects. Our solution is instead to teach intensive studios from week six to those students arriving late, and winter and summer intensive studios as required.
Some students have already left China to self-quarantine in another country for 14 days before entering Australia. For my level two studio, I have two students arriving in a couple of weeks who wish to attempt studying design with me as enrolled. The other two will wait until the ban is lifted. Those arriving in a couple of weeks have partnered with a classmate here for peer support and updates from the class, and I have set desktop research tasks for them. In addition to this, my studio has the usual online collaboration tools that I use for my classes such as shared journals into which students upload research and minutes from our studio discussions.
The longer studio sessions have turned out to be a much better teaching and learning experience for myself and my students as I plan the sessions as if it were a half day at work in an office. The day has varied activities; small-group research, analysis and design sessions, studio discussions, individual work sessions with peer support in small groups, pinups for review and guidance, and time to ensure that tasks for progress at home are clear. This system is conducive to cohesive cohort building and as the university sector calls it, “employability” outcomes and work-integrated-learning.
I was initially unsure about how it would go spending so much time with my students, and as it turns out, it is a very supportive, collaborative and enriching experience. The students’ interests are aligned with mine and I love being with these budding landscape architects, helping them realise their vision for a better future.
News from AILA WA Executive - 19/02/20 - Shea Hatch
I hope you have been enjoying Bunuru, the second summer season. With perfect beach weather and the frivolities of Fringe and Perth Festival it is certainly my favorite time of the year to enjoy life and take a break. However as the festivities wind down and I am settling into the pattern of the working year its time to put energy and focus into the RAP committee for 2020.
2019 was a year of exploration and setting directions for our committee and we look forward to implementing those plans in 2020. There will be a number of opportunities to get involved including events,training and resources for all of our members.
Our first RAP meeting for 2020 is Thursday 20th February, 7:30am at Vans in Cottesloe - All welcome. If you cant make that time and would still like to be involved in some way fee free to contact us at email@example.com and we will let you know what we have coming up. There will plenty of exciting opportunities for involvement this year, especially with the AILA National Festival here in Perth.
AILA Awards will open for entries today. You may notice this is a little earlier than usual, we have adopted uniform open and closing dates nation-wide. The closing date for the Awards is 31 March - still a six week period to get your entries in. The WA Awards Jury will be announced next week, keep an eye on your email inbox for further information, in the meantime think about which projects you'll be entering.
The Regional event we were due to have in March has been moved due to a clash the Emergence Creative Festival, so the new dates for this exciting event are 2 & 3 April. CPD sessions and social events will be announced in the coming fortnight. All members are encouraged to come along to Margaret River!
There are a number of opportunities you can get involved in AILA activities at the moment. We have a AILA Festival local committee who are planning unique and exciting Fringe Events of the Festival in Perth in October. We have a National Bushfire Working Group currently being set up, s if you have a particular interest in this area get in touch. We also welcome everyone to come along to our RAP Committee Meetings, our Advocacy Groupmeetings, and our Chapter meetings. Contact Carmen for more information or to register your interest.
News from AILA WA Executive - 23/01/20
Kaya! The AILA Executive hope you enjoyed a relaxing Festive Break and are back into the swing of things. We certainly are! We recently launched the AILA WA Bushfire Fundraiser, this is in response to the devastating bushfires which have occurred throughout Australia. We are inviting schools, charities, playgroups, not-for-profits, daycares etc to donate to our fundraising event for a minimum of $350, and in doing so will receive one free concept design for an outdoor area they need help with.
We have prepared a briefing sheet for those wishing to participate and there are restrictions on size and type of project that can be submitted. It is intended to be for groups that wouldn't usually have the funds to utilise a landscape architect and in return allows us opportunity to use our skills to raise much needed funds. We need help getting the word out there, so please share his opportunity with any schools, playgroups, not-for-profits, sporting clubs, charities etc. The deadline for them to fill out the briefing document is 5 February. All details are on the AILA WA website
We will be holding the Design Afternoon on Friday 7 February at UDLA (at this stage, we ay need to move to a bigger premises if we are overwhelmed responses). We'll provide food, drinks and music - it will be a unique opportunity to work together as an industry (literally) to help out our friends across the country. By doing it together in one sitting we can share ideas, keep it concise and ensure we deliver all designs quickly.
We have a few other events in the pipeline, we are close to announcing a date for Barbara Schaffer AILA Landscape Architect in Government Architects Office NSW to present in Perth on Sydney's Green Grid. We also have a save the date for our Regional CPD and Social events this will be in Margaret River on 26 & 27 March, more details to come soon. We also have another Blue Meets Green Speaker Event, a Workplace Culture Event, a Biodiversity/Ecology CPD and we are starting a Parents Network. All of this on top of the AILA International Festival of Landscape Architecture in Perth in October means we're in for an exciting year!
News from AILA WA Executive - 03/12/19 - Nicholas Pierson
It’s December already. Summer is upon us and the end of the year is closing in. For myself, 2019 has been a blink and you miss it kind of year. Last summer rolled into winter and with only the slightest acknowledgment of spring became summer once again. I completely realise that I have missed autumn and whilst I have nothing against the changing of the leaves, that’s just how this year has been for me!
I, like many others, am looking forward to the end of year celebrations and a well deserved break. It is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and reflect on the achievements, milestones and successes of the past year. It is also an opportunity to look forward - set new goals and build momentum for the coming year.
And 2020 is set to be an exciting year for WA’s landscape architecture industry:
Perth will be hosting the Festival of Landscape Architecture Spectacle and Collapse: Changing Landscapes. The festival will provide an interesting discourse on the state and direction of landscape architecture - as well as showcase what the industry is doing at a local WA level. Importantly, it will create opportunities for our profession to come together. Engaging with fellow landscape architects, students, universities, government, the community and public, discussing the role of landscape architects as future leaders against the fight against climate change, designing liveable cities and the creation of resilient communities.
Also gaining momentum in 2020 will be The Be a Landscape Architect campaign - Targeting the next generation of landscape architects by providing the platform and resources to explain the profession to high school students. The digital campaign coincides with a call out for AILA members to become ambassadors for the profession - helping leverage landscape architecture’s visibility as a career pathway to our next generation. This is a brilliant initiative that will help shape the future of our industry - if you are interested in becoming an ambassador or assisting the program, please let us know.
On shaping the future of the industry, as discussed by the AILA WA Advocacy Committee, “the need for AILA on both a state and national level to lead the advocacy agenda in delivering more resilient, liveable cities and in protecting our natural and cultural heritage is immediate and necessary.” This necessity can only be realised with the engagement of our members and I encourage you to attend the next Advocacy Committee on the 11th of February to help build upon the achievements of 2019 and outline the committee’s actions over the coming year.
I look forward to catching up with you all at the end of year celebration on Thursday, celebrating this year’s successes and discussing plans for 2020.
News from AILA WA Executive - 21/11/19 - Belinda Foster
Kaya AILA WA Members,
Last week I had the pleasure of again chairing the AILA WA Advocacy Committee meeting. This is always an enjoyable event filled with discussion and debate about a whole range of issues pertinent to our profession and communities. I am always encouraged and surprised by the breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and passion across the practice areas of our members.
Increasingly over the recent past and in the face of a changing climate, growing population and finite recourses it has become apparent that the need for AILA to lead the advocacy agenda in delivering more resilient, liveable cities and in protecting our natural and cultural heritage is immediate and necessary. This need has increasingly informed our agenda over 2019 and will be central to the committees’ actions over the next year.
Leading the debate and advocating for design excellence and evidence-based decision in Green Infrastructure and the public realm requires a multifaceted series of actions. As such, at our next meeting in February, we will be developing a road map for WA on how best to continue to raise the profile of our profession, ensure our members are valued and sort for their knowledge and expertise by all sectors of government and ultimately, how best to position to provide independent strategic advice to government on the opportunities and issues impacting the delivery of greener, liveable and healthier places in Western Australia.
I would like to extend the invitation to all members to input their ideas into our discussion either through email to firstname.lastname@example.org or in attendance at our next committee meeting on the 11th February 2020.
For some background on AILA’s position statements please visit our National Advocacy page
For an update on recent submissions and activities undertaken by the AILA WA Advocacy Committee, please visit our Advocacy page
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Patrick Ford from the Office of the Government Architect for his attendance at our last meeting and to thank Melanie Bradley, Damien Pericles, Hans Olermans and Carmen Williams for their recent work in compiling AILA’s response to SPP7.2 Precinct Design.
Finally, I wish you all a smooth run into the end of year and hope to see you at our upcoming End of Year Celebration.
Belinda Foster AILA
News from AILA WA Executive - 7/11/19 - Shea Hatch
Kaya AILA WA Members!
The weather is warming up and I’m sure we are all feeling the pre-Christmas rush that comes with it. For me the lead up to Christmas always spins into a blur of deadlines and events that can lead to a burnout that takes precious holiday days to unwind from. I think this is synonymous with our industry and without sounding too millennial about it I wanted to talk about the approaches to self-care I take to manage my stress and stay productive . For me these include:
- Getting outside and active. Countless studies point to the benefits being in nature have to our mental and physical health. I am truly preaching to the converted when I say we are lucky to have many amazing natural spaces on our doorstep, so I am trying to keep a few mornings and a bit of my weekend to spend being outside and active.
- Reflecting on what I have achieved over the year. I am a big advocate for being involved in something you feel passionate about. Whether its sports, arts or culture keeping touch with something that inspires you is important, more so when your busy. At the end of the year I like to reflect on what I was able to contribute to, to both celebrate the wins and reenergise for the upcoming year. An example of this is our AILA WA RAP committee. It has been a year of behind the scenes work, that to be honest at points felt like I was spinning my wheels a bit. However, in reflection we have had some amazing discussions amongst our group and are gearing up to launch some great projects and opportunities for broader engagement in the New Year. I am grateful to be part of the group and look forward to learning more from them and with them in the New Year.
- Saying No. My calendar fills with a lot of events, a lot of people who want a little time and a lot of deadlines. I am getting better and saying no to those I can’t genuinely give energy to and not feeling the guilt – but I’d love your tips on managing this better!
- Staying Connected: Having been involved in AILA for a little while now I am starting to see what a unique chapter we are. We are smaller, we know each other and we are engaged. I also like to think that we don’t take our profession so seriously that we lose our humanity. I always appreciate the information sharing, the words of support and the shared advocacy that our chapter maintains. As co-workers, in a broader sense, who understand the unique demands of our profession it is important that we look out for one another and stay connected. I hope that we will always be able to provide support and assistance to our AILA colleagues and feel comfortable to ask for help when needed.
Discussing mental health and stress management should happen in all our offices, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t bring it up enough in ours. Hopefully this will provide a little prompt to check in on each other if you’re feeling the pre-Christmas stress too.
Remember if you or anyone you know needs help you can always call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Shea Hatch AILA
News from AILA WA Executive 24/10/19 - Andrew Thomas
To all Members,
Last week I had the privilege of attending the International Festival of Landscape Architecture in Melbourne and there were some great moments that celebrated the skill a diversity of landscape architects across the country and indeed case studies from around the world.
As part of the week I also had the chance to meet with representatives from all state chapters and the AILA board. This was a really valuable opportunity to discuss items relative to each pillar of our strategic plan and the national strategies that are in place to deliver on these pillars. Of particular interest to our state based on discussion that we have been having with members is that national are currently in the process of developing a discussion paper regarding registration and legal recognition of the term Landscape Architect. Within the current strategic plan the organisation is working towards strengthening the registration and CPD process for members. This is a key link in working towards the legal recognition of our profession. There are a number of issues to be resolved during this process and it is expected to take significant financial and time resources to deliver this outcome. The national board will be assessing this against the proposed outcomes within the discussion paper and will then provide direction on how we are to proceed.
We also were given a preview of the high school engagement promotional material that the national office have been working on. The programme is titled “Be a Landscape Architect” and we expect to have all of the information to be able to start the engagement programme by the end of the month. Previously we have had a number of members commit to being ambassadors for the programme and we will be in touch with these members soon to commence the process. If any other members wish to join in the ambassador programme please contact Carmen or I and for those active on social media don’t forget to utilise the #bealandscapearchitect tag in all of your posts.
It was also great to see Damian Pericles and Christina Nicholson announce the 2020 Perth festival titled Spectacle and Collapse. As a state executive we are immensely proud to have the festival coming to WA next year and we look forward to seeing all WA members in attendance.
Finally the presidents breakfast is next week where we have the opportunity to hear presentations from HASSELL and PLAN E regarding their award winning projects as well as Fiona Morrison who is the NSW Commissioner for Open Spaces and Parklands. This I believe is a great opportunity for AILA members to hear directly how AILA advocating on behalf of the profession can deliver outcomes that benefit all members. I look forward to seeing you all next week.
News from AILA WA Executive 15/10/19 - Melanie Bradley
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has welcomed the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ (IFLA) Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Declaration which was made at the IFLA World Congress in Oslo, Norway
In addition to the IFLA ClimateACTION! Plan, IFLA and its Members commit to:
1. Providing paths to improved understanding and access to training, tools and guidance on emerging science, climate positive design and environment net gain.
2. Working with national associations to alter our ethical standards and codes of conduct to include greater references to sustainability.
3. Reducing our own carbon footprints, through changes in materials, design practice, travel and operations.
4. Advocating at all levels of government and decision-making for recognition of the Emergency, action to implement needed changes to policy and practice, and allocation of sufficient resources to respond in a timely and productive manner.
5. Partnering with corporate, academic, NGO and governmental colleagues in support of IFLA efforts to locally, nationally, and globally advocate for immediate action.
6. Partnering with suppliers to improve industry standards and practice.
AILA WA supports efforts to address climate change, such as promoting local government Urban Forest Plans or Strategies and the State Government’s Better Urban Planning for the Urban Forest of Perth and Peel. https://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/getmedia/a8b2687c-7189-4880-96c4-99ff227a54b8/PRJ_Better_Urban_Forest_Planning
Trees should be an essential element in any development as urban greening is an effective public health tool that leads to improved air quality, greater opportunity to walk and carry out other physical activities and reduced Urban Heat Island effects. “Planting billions of trees across the world is by far the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis, according to scientists, who have made the first calculation of how many more trees could be planted without encroaching on crop land or urban areas.”[i]
Recent events have underlined the necessity of Registered Landscape Architects as part of multi-disciplinary teams, in order to ensure that the 7 Design Elements (1-Urban Ecology, 2-Urban Structure, 3-Movement, 4-Built Form, 5-Land Use, 6-Public Realm and 7-Services and Infrastructure) are understood and take an important place in DesignWA Precinct Planning Guidelines SPP 7.2. The Advocacy Group is working on a submittal to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to ensure that the public realm, private and public open space and streetscapes are planned and designed to promote healthy living opportunities in Perth and Peel. Submissions are due by October 15, 2019.
Upcoming events include:
The 2019 AILA WA Presidents Breakfast Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 with Andrew Thomas and the AILA WA Executive welcoming Fiona Morrison, AILA – NSW Commissioner Open Spaces and Parklands; Anthony Brookfield, Principal, HASSELL; and Michael Pearce Senior Associate PLAN E, at the Cassia Room, Westin Perth. Registrations are open now.
News from AILA WA Executive 24/09/19 - Christina Nicholson
Continuing on from Nicholas’ recent article highlighting the amazing biodiversity that we are lucky to live and practice amongst in Western Australia, I have written about our connection to country and something that I noticed happen to my graduating students this week whilst on my annual Plants and Landscape Systems Bibbulmun Track half-day walk (Landscape Architecture Major at the University of Western Australia).
Last week I was kicking myself after our class, as one of my students had asked why we were going on the walk and my immediate response was “Just for fun!” then I added “umm, it’s a walking lecture that highlights changes in vegetation due to specific location within the landscape.” I was expecting fewer students to attend because these days nearly all of them find difficulty juggling jobs, study and (their screen dominated) life. To my surprise all the students turned up and thoroughly enjoyed the walk. They enthused that they could recognise the genus of many plants that they had studied in the city, they marvelled at the diversity of species and flowers and how obvious the changes in vegetation were. But most of all, they LOVED being in the bush. They asked for more bush walks, not just because it was enjoyable, but because they loved learning about how nature worked and felt more connected to the land because of it, it made them FEEL good. This enthusiasm highlighted to me how few young people get out to wild nature and do not feel courageous enough to instigate bushwalks.
The reason that I introduced this walk into the unit is because I believe that as designers of landscapes, we need to study how nature works and feel a connection to the landscape that was here before urban development, industry and agricultural clearing. In this way we can develop a deeper understanding and respect for what ‘was’ and then imagine what ‘could be’. Through design we can then connect daily urban lives back to nature by expressing a sense of place. My goal for next year is to find a Whadjuk Noongar guide to join us on the walk to further deeper our understating of, and connection to, country.
View from Mt Vincent towards Mt Cuthbert. Students developing a better understanding of how plants are deeply dependent on topography, soil, water, solar access and each other, and, having a very good time together in the bush!
From the recent #climatestrike on Forest Place, Perth
News from AILA WA Executive 11/09/19 - Nicholas Pierson
For the past 12 months or so I have been fortunate enough to work on a regional project. Each fortnight, I roll up my drawings, load up my playlist and embark on one of the most beloved pastimes of many Australians, the road trip. Having made the seven-hour return trip countless times over the past year, I have witnessed the landscape transform throughout the seasons. From the hot and dry periods, when the inland wind ensures the parched country dirt finds its way into the back seat of my hire car, to the cold and wet, when my caked work boots ensure the country mud finds its way back to our city office.
Very easily taken for granted, each season reveals something new in the landscape, highlighting the beauty and ever-changing splendor of our natural environment. We celebrate the diversity and rugged vastness of the Western Australian landscape but are we doing enough to protect it? To ensure it will continue to thrive and exist for future generations to enjoy? And, importantly, that our work as landscape architects showcases and celebrates the rich biodiversity of our state?
12 years and 1.5 degrees Celsius, these are the small numbers with big consequences outlined by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Ecosystems across the globe are under threat, species extinction is rapidly accelerating at an unprecedented rate and, extreme weather events are on the rise.
Last month AILA declared a Climate and Biodiversity Loss Emergency, highlighting the delicate position we are in. As landscape architects – designers, researches, advisors, educators – we are in a unique position to contribute to the solution and will have an ongoing role to play. If you haven’t had a chance to read the declaration, I encourage you to do so, share it amongst your colleagues and share your ideas and thoughts on what else we can do in response to this emergency.
Although this issue will require a large-scale response across the globe, we all have an opportunity to assist within our respective fields of practice. Through our plant selections, material palettes, teachings and project collaborations we have the ability to ensure the unique biodiversity that Western Australia is famous for will continue to thrive for years to come.
News from AILA WA Executive 28/08/19 - Carmen Williams
It's been a hive of activity recently at AILA. Two weeks ago we welcomed AILA CEO, Tim Arnold and the AILA Board to Perth. Tim and I met with numerous members and Corporate Partners, plus State Government Ministers and State and Local Government staff to garner support for the 2020 International Festival of Landscape Architecture. The Board joined us at the WE-EF After Dark Party which was a fabulous event! The AILA WA Executive and wAILA Fresh Executive attended the Board Meeting. One of the topics discussed was the Climate and Biodiversity Loss Emergency Declaration which we were pleased to see released this week.
EOI's for the Creative Directors for Perth 2020 International Landscape Architecture Festival closed on Friday, there were four submissions received. We look forward to hearing the big announcement at the Melbourne Festival. Speaking of which, if you haven't bought your tickets for The Square and the Park Festival, do it soon, as it is expected to sell out.
Two sessions of ArchiTech Connect: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Urban Greening were held this week. Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the discussions, presenters Barbara Meldrum City of Perth, Caine Holdsworth UDLA, Peter Keating Bioscience WA and Rob Bodenstaff from Arbor Centre. Thanks to Urbis and City of Fremantle for the venues and to Arbor Centre for continuing to provide quality CPD for our members.
Our next Advocacy Meeting will be held on 10 September and the AILA WA Chapter Meeting will be held on 17 September, let me know if you'd like to come along to either meeting.
News from AILA WA Executive 14/08/19 - Melanie Bradley
Let us hope that the recent great weather bodes an early spring!
Congratulations to those who won AILA WA Awards and to everyone who put in their projects, a big thank you. Also, how wonderful is it that Perth has been chosen to host the Landscape Festival 15-18 October 2020? We'd love to see a team of Creative Directors from WA, EOI deadline has been extended until Friday 23 August.
The Executive will be meeting with the National Board on August 16. It will be our time to present our ideas for implementing the National Platform of Greener, Liveable & Healthier Cities, with special attention to Western Australian landscapes and our interaction with the State and local governments and the community. The Advocacy Group will help the executive to develop a plan for advocacy to Government based on the Platform and determining what AILA WA need to achieve at a State level. The Platform consists of 4 propositions:
- Investing the development of a Living Infrastructure Strategy
- Supporting the creation of a National Living Infrastructure Fund
- Driving change in accountancy, business case preparation and feasibility process standards to enable living infrastructure to be considered an Asset Class (or equivalent)
- Adopting key recommendation of “Building Up and Moving Out” and determining how Landscape Architects can help to achieve better outcomes for cities.
On that note, the Minister for Planning, Lands & Heritage, Rita Saffioti, will be releasing the Department’s draft Design WA Precinct Planning policy this week as well as Planning Reform measures. I urge all members of AILA to have a look at the policy and make any suggestions for changes to the Executive. We will bring these up with the Advocacy Group and debate how to ensure that Landscape Architects are included as essential in the design of urban spaces and places.
Urban design is a product of the collaboration between Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, Urban and Regional Planners, and others from the Built Form disciplines. Planning policies often address planning issues such as land zoning and land use, however, rarely LAND FORM. Landscape Architects are especially critical in preparing precinct plans that can predict and mitigate the effects of the built form on the land itself.
WA WE-EF After Dark Product Party : August 15, 2019 at Arthur & Co, Hibernian Place
WA ArchiTech Connect: Urban Greening presenting a collaborative Case Study for Landscape Architects and local government and developing suitable soil specifications for successful tree planting in the CBD and surrounding areas. There are two sessions offered: one in the CBD August 27 and one in Fremantle August 28.
News from AILA WA Executive 02/08/19 - Andrew Thomas
PERTH 2020 PERTH 2020 PERTH 2020
We are thrilled that the International Festival of Landscape Architecture will be held in Perth in October 2020. It was fantastic to be able to make the announcement at the Awards Presentation Night, there certainly was a buzz in the room. Having the Festival in Perth will be a great way to showcase all of the many Landscape Architecture projects that are shaping a healthier, greener, more connected WA. There is currently a EOI out for Creative Directors, we would love to have the theme and ideas for the Festival to come from WA, so we encourage our members to consider throwing their hat in the ring. Tim Arnold and I are both available to answer questions about the Creative Directorship.
The Awards night was a superb night of celebration. Karen Jacobs kicked off the night with a wonderfully relevant Welcome to Country. We celebrated a broad spectrum of WA projects across 13 categories. All of the winning projects and entrants can be viewed in our Awards Gallery.
We also recognised Kat Stewart for the inaugural Emerging Achiever Award - which recognises an AILA Member Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student who is showing promise to the profession of landscape architecture.
Iain Roy was Awarded the Future Leader Award, for an AILA Graduate Member landscape architect who is in the early stage of their career (within five years of graduating) who is showing promise to the profession of landscape architecture.
There are many people to thank for their contribution to the Awards night:
- Our wonderful National Corporate Partners: WE-EF Lighting (and H.I. Lighting); Brickworks; ACO; and Street Furniture Australia
- Our fantastic State Corporate Partners: Benara Nurseries; Arbor Centre; Eclipse Soils, DS Group and new play partner Lark Industries.
- The 2019 Awards Jury – Faron Mengler AILA (Jury Chair), Barbara Gdowski, Peter Ciemitis, Jennifer Cooper AILA, Craig Carpenter AILA, Bill James FAILA and Stuart Pullyblank FAILA
- Our fabulous MC’s Shea Hatch and Shadra Pearson kept the Awards night running seamlessly
- Shadra Pearson and Rasheen Lee for assisting Carmen on the Awards Organising Committee. My fellow Executive Members Christina Nicholson, Nicholas Pierson, Shea Hatch, Belinda Foster and Melanie Bradley for their help on the night and in the lead up.
- Finally, the entrants, for without your efforts we wouldn’t have such a high-calibre Awards.
News from AILA WA Executive 18/07/19 - Andrew Thomas
We are in the midst of the awards season and I encourage all members to get on social media and participate in the peoples choice awards voting. This is an integral part of raising the profile of the profession as we can share our best projects across a broad spectrum of people so get out there and share, share, share.
Also a final reminder to get your tickets to the awards night next Friday night the 26th July. This is always a great night and I look forward to catching up with as many members as possible for the celebration of all things Landscape Architecture.
Earlier this month AILA WA had a very successful annual chapter meeting and successfully voted in a new executive team. This doesn’t sound like an incredible achievement but we have had difficulty in attracting a quorum to meetings previously so I was very happy and grateful that we had such a good turnout at the meeting.
We have three of last terms executives returning for another two year stint in the position and another three new members joining the team. Shea Hatch, Melanie Bradley and I are joined by Christina Nicholson, Belinda Foster and Nick Pierson. We are really looking forward to working together as a new executive team and continuing to deliver on our strategic plan for all members benefit.
I would like to finish by extend my sincere thanks to our outgoing executive member Carl Thompson. Carl has spent the last two years on the executive keeping the finances in check whilst also ensuring that all of our spreadsheet needs have been taken care of. Carl has generously given his time to the organisation whilst having a young family and a busy professional life to manage. On behalf of all members, thank you Carl, and good luck with the next challenge that you choose to take on.
News from AILA WA 04/07/19 - Tilly Caddy RAP Implementation Committee
Kaya! Unless you’ve been living under a rock (covered in specifications and tenders), you should be aware that last year the AILA Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan was published. This stage of the document was produced at a national level and included WA’s Dr Noel Nannup as one of the contributing Cultural Ambassadors. The process now shifts to state level to implement the identified key actions. A group of dedicated members are working behind the scenes to identify numerous opportunities for AILA members to better engage with, learn, celebrate and share cultural knowledge. Over the next few months, members of the WA RAP Implementation Committee will keep you updated through the newsletters of our progress, as well as suggestions of cultural events and opportunities to engage with Indigenous Australians and the culture of the land we call home.
Next week being NAIDOC week, we will be showcasing WA projects that celebrate Indigenous contribution. Keep an eye out on the AILA WA social media.
AILA WA RAP Implementation Committee
News from AILA WA Executive 21/06/19 - Andrew Thomas
This week with dipped our toes into the world of High School Careers Expos, as part of our objective to get more students studying Landscape Architecture. We went along to Perth College and spoke to a number of girls and their parents about how great Landscape Architecture is as a career. Later in the year we hope to launch the High School Engagement initiative Nationally, this will give us some more resources to take along to students. We encourage members who are still connected with their High School or their children’s school to get involved with Career Events, we can help with resources, get in touch with Carmen.
There was a RAP Committee meeting on 6 June with 5 members in attendance, with a number of apologies, we encourage any members who have an interest in this area to join the group. The first item of business was to establish the committee purpose and then establish some governance measures. After going through the RAP plan some actions were established, which each of the committee are putting their name against. With NAIDOC Week around the corner, the committee will be looking at ways to assist Indigenous Groups with their activities, if you or your organisation is keen to give some time/expertise, please get in contact with Carmen. AILA WA will also be promoting projects that had strong indigenous engagement, through our social media platforms during NAIDOC Week.
We had a win with a piece of Advocacy work we undertook recently, with the Department of Planning Lands and Heritage advising that the draft Element 3 – Vehicular Access (Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas) has not progressed to the point where it should be consideration in determining planning application. Further consultation will take place and AILA WA will continue to advocate in this area.
We have the AILA WA Annual Chapter Meeting coming up on 2 July, join us as we reflect on the achievements over the last 12 months and hear details on exciting plans ahead. We will be voting in three new Executive Members and we will be welcoming three new RLA’s to the fold. We will also be giving a sneak peek of Awards entries. So make sure you come along and share your ideas and support the profession, It truly is an exciting time to be involved. RSVP to Carmen by 5pm, 1 July.
AILA WA President
News from AILA WA Executive 6/6/19 - Carl Thompson
Welcome to last E-News bulletin to be penned by me under my current term on the state Executive. It has been a fantastic experience and one that I can highly commend to anyone thinking of being involved more substantively with AILA.
I have had the pleasure to serve with a great team of committed and talented executive colleagues, and would like to extend my admiration for Andrew Thomas, Melanie Bradley, Shea Hatch and Robyn Renton for their hard work, generosity and insight into a profession that continues to inspire and grow. A particularly special thank you goes to Carmen Williams, our dedicated State Manager, whom I can assure everyone has been critical to everything we have achieved over the past two years. Thank you all.
Unfortunately for me, I need to devote some of my time to non-AILA commitments, which is why I am stepping down from the team at this time. The good news is that the next election for the new executive team is coming soon at the next Annual Chapter Meeting to be held on 2nd July at AECOM. We have received a number of submissions from LA’s interested in joining the executive, so we encourage everyone who can make it to show up and support the great selection of candidates. Thanks to all the candidates for throwing their hats in the ring - I can assure them all it will be a rewarding experience.
The ACM will also be an opportunity for a sneak preview of this year’s Awards as anticipation and excitement build towards the main event to be held on the 26th July at The Camfield. There have been 31 entries this year and as ever, it promises to be fantastic celebration of our work as a profession and great opportunity to mingle with similarly passionate peers. Tickets will be on sale via the revamped AILA website tomorrow - We look forward to seeing you there! Did I say ‘revamped AILA website’ ? – yes I did, if you haven’t had a chance yet, please take a look and marvel in its radiant glory!
Before we do though, please be reminded that we have an Advocacy Meeting on the 11th June at The Standard in Northbridge. One of the topics of discussion will be the Orrong Road proposal by Main Roads.
Finally, for anyone looking to engage with the future leaders of the profession, we will be manning a stall at the Perth College Careers Expo on the afternoon of the 17th June. If you can offer up a couple of hours to engage and inspire the LA’s of the future, your enthusiastic presence would be most welcome – please advice Carmen if you would like to assist.
News from AILA WA Executive 27/05/19 - Shea Hatch
Public open space is really what it says on the box, a place for the public, i.e. everyone. But do we truly design for 'everyone'? A few years ago I was involved in a discussion with a disability advisory group about a public realm project. To my complete embarrassment I only brought a projected presentation, which is not super helpful to the group members who were sight impaired. For someone who works in a creative industry I could have thought a bit out of the box to help get our design intent across, now I know. It can be hard to understand the perspective of those that are not our own. There are a number of amazing consultants who continually assist in capacity building our industry to create more inclusive spaces, and of course the members of the public who so kindly give their time to educate us!
However it is time for AILA and other professional networks to assist with some of that heavy lifting. How do we do this? As a start we can look to increasing diversity not only in our own industry but with our fellow consultants, supplier and contractor industries. One initiative AILA WA are implementing, in line with our RAP deliverables, is the development of a contact list of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations looking for joint ventures and partnerships, or for pro bono support or secondment and community capacity building opportunities from AILA members. I welcome any member, or non-member, to be a part of this process. We will be meeting Thursday 6th June 7:30am at Gordon Street Garage to coordinate the development of the network and other RAP initiatives. I hope to see you there.