WA News & Media

News from AILA WA Executive - 14 April 2021 - Andrew Thomas

Kaya members,
This is my final message as president before the end of my second two-year term in the role. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all that have helped during the last four years.  I have found the role incredibly rewarding and have learnt so much from the people and members that make this organisation what it is.

Carmen Williams, our state chapter manager, has been an incredible support during this time.  She is a tireless worker and is committed to making AILA the best organisation that it can be for all members.  Carmen’s attention to detail and enthusiasm when organising events is unparalleled and I am particularly grateful for her efforts in making sure that we all feel welcome and included at events.  The organisation would be much poorer without Carmen and I am thankful for her professionalism and friendship.

During both terms I have been fortunate enough to have executive team members that have been willing to work hard for the benefit of AILA members and I am really proud of the initiatives that have been undertaken during this period.  Robyn Renton, Carl Thompson, Melanie Bradley, Shea Hatch, Belinda Foster, Christina Nicholson and Nick Pierson have all been fantastic to work with and I thank them for their efforts in working to achieve the goals of our strategic plan.

I have also had wonderful support from our members who have offered up their time to volunteer on the committees, awards juries and at events.  Our organisation is only able to achieve the objectives that we strive for with the support of the members that give their time so willingly.
Nominations for the chapter executive are now open and it will be great to have some additional members join the new executive.  If you have an interest in furthering your knowledge of AILA and the Landscape Architecture industry then I encourage you to get involved.  I also encourage all members to get along to the Annual Chapter Meeting in May to show your support to the new executive.
Thanks to all for your support during my time in this role.  I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming awards evening.

Andrew Thomas


News from AILA WA Executive - 31 March 2021 -Nicholas Pierson


Perhaps I have been reading to many landscape architecture books recently, or maybe I’m just excited for the upcoming awards season, but, it truly is an exciting time to be a landscape architect. The built and natural environments are being put under the microscope. Changes in the way we live, work, and interact with our surrounds have drastically changed over the past 12 months. The direct outcome of this is that the way the built environment interacts with the natural environment, and, in turn how people interact with the (and their) environment is being critically analysed. 
Critical analysis is not something that landscape architecture is very experienced with as a practice or profession. However, it is something we need to implement beyond project reviews or offering opinions on built outcomes. The industry and the individuals need to deliver more critical thinking and consideration in planning and design review as well as jury deliberations and citations. With a mixture of purpose, intent and theory, rigorous critic is achievable without necessitating rigorous criticism. This in turn can be applied to unbuilt work and representations fostering better design outcomes. These processes and critiques will allow us, as a collective industry, to better promote landscape architecture and advocate for better outcomes across all levels of practice.

With that in mind, I urge anyone who is interested helping to influence our industry and how we interact in all spheres of the profession to reach out to either Carmen or the executive committee and discuss how you would like to be involved.
Currently, we are looking for Be A Landscape Architect Ambassadors to represent the industry at schools and universities, support for the Advocacy Group and RAP members. On top of this Executive nominations will open in mid-April and I for one can testify how much this role gives. Not only from the people you meet and work with but also the skills and knowledge you are given along the way, I highly recommend joining or simply coming along to the meetings to add you voice and support.

Finally, the awards submission deadline has closed and a total of 27 entries have been received, which is an outstanding result given the situation over the last 12 months. I look forward to seeing you all at the Annual Chapter where will a preview of the award night to come.
Have a happy and safe easter!

News from AILA WA Executive - 18 March 2021 -Belinda Foster


AILA Awards entries close next week on Wednesday (24th), so don’t leave it too late to get your submissions in. It is a fabulous celebration of the breadth and depth of talent our profession covers and I am always amazed at how extensive and influential our profession is. 

Our advocacy work continues and now the state election is over, we plan to meet to establish our focus for the committee over the next 12 months. Our advocacy work directly and indirectly benefits our members and any support you can offer towards the executive will be greatly appreciated.

Our High school engagement program is about to recommence with our Be a Landscape Architect program. We are looking for Ambassadors to join our team and if you are able to assist, please email Carmen or register.

Coming up in May, we will be co-hosting with AIA and PIA a forum on the State Design Review process. More information will be released closer to the date, including opportunities for feedback, questions, and discussion.

And finally, as we head towards Easter and school holidays, I hope you all stay safe and well and enjoy a well-earned break!


News from AILA WA Executive - 4 March 2021 - Shea Hatch


Last week AILA, PIA and AIA joined forces to host a breakfast with the Planning Minister Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA, Shadow Planning Minister Hon. Tjorn Sibma MLC and Dr Brad Pettitt.  The breakfast provided each Insitute the opportunity to outline their key concerns and focus as an industry, along with allowing the audience to ask questions.  It was good to see that AIA, PIA and AILA have similar concerns regarding current planning criteria including support for the Design WA policy suite, a need to further simplify the planning process and it's implementation, support for reduction in urban sprawl, the opportunity for good design outcomes within large state infrastructure projects and a planning framework that further improves community and environmental outcomes.

The current approval rating for Labour has all but certainly sealed the election outcome and as such discussions on the day focused on Labour's policy, with very little debate.  The positive from the event has been the ongoing invitation from each of the parties to meet and discuss key issues, something or AILA will continue as part of our ongoing advocacy role.  Already we have seen a positive news article in yesterday's (Wed 3 March) West Australian newspaper highlighting some of AILAs key discussion points from the event.  AILA WA is also preparing an advocacy paper to clearly articulate our position on key issues in WA.  This paper is currently being finalised and will be available to all WA members and will form the basis of our ongoing advocacy.



News from AILA WA Executive - 18 February 2021 - Carmen Williams


We held our first Chapter Meeting for the year on Tuesday night and the Executive are in full swing with Pre-Election Advocacy and events.  On Friday we have the Richgro Breakfast & Tour  which will be a great opportunity to catch up with other Landscape Architects, see the innovative initiatives and sustainable processes at Richgro’s plant, and a delicious breakfast.  It's free for AILA Members & guests , 2 Informal CPD Points, Register today .  Next week we have the Pre-Election Breakfast which we are hosting with PIA and AIA, where we hear about proposed strategies for the Built Environment from politicians Hon Rita Saffioti, Hon Tjorn Sibma and Dr Brad Pettitt. We hope to see you there. 

University starts next week and we look forward to welcoming a new cohort of students to AILA, enrolments in the new UWA Environmental Design Bachelors course are higher than expected which will hopefully translate into more Landscape Architects in the future.

Awards entries are open until 24 March, so get your entries in .  We will be announcing the Jury in the coming days.

News from AILA WA Executive - 4 February 2021 - Carmen Williams


I hope that all of our members and families are safe and have not been effected by the devastating bushfires. I'm hoping the rain forecast for the coming weekend will assist firefighters in extinguishing the fires. The firefighters and DFES are working tirelessly to minimise loss of property, life, flora & fauna.   The Lord Mayors Distress Relief Fund is taking donations for those affected by the fires, there are also other charities listed on this page .  Our Advocacy Group will reach out to local governments in the coming weeks/months to discuss how Landscape Architects can provide support and expert advice.  View AILA's Bushfire Position Statement.
We are almost through our 5 day lockdown and hope that everyone has managed ok.  I was hoping to have an update on our Built Environment Pre-Election Breakfast, but we have not received information as to which restrictions will remain after lockdown. As it is very unlikely that we will be able to proceed with the original date of 10 February, we are working towards a new date and will communicate this as soon as we are able.

Stay safe everyone!

News from AILA WA Executive - 20 January 2021 - Carmen Williams


Happy New Year!  I hope that 2021 is shaping up to be a productive, healthy and happy one for us all!  I spent a few weeks travelling in the Esperance region and visited a number of projects in the South.  It was great to finally see this stunning part of the world and experience landscape architecture projects that I'd previously only seen in photos. We have a number of exciting events coming up to kick off the new year.  The first is a Pre-Election Breakfast which AILA is co-hosting with AIA and PIA. We encourage Members to come along and hear from Hon Rita Saffioti MLA, Hon. Tjorn Sibma MLA and Dr Brad Pettitt on 10 February.  We also have a New Year Breakfast kindly put on by AILA WA Corporate Partner Richgro on Friday 19 February. 

The DPLH are also hosting a series of workshops on Draft Medium Density Housing Codes, we encourage members to attend and share ideas. See article in eNews for more information.

I look forward to a positive and less disruptive year in 2021 and hope to see all of you soon.

News from AILA WA Executive - 10 December 2020 - Nicholas Pierson

Welcome to December! With all of the end of year deadlines looming I am sure we are all looking forward to a well-earned break and the opportunity to reflect back on the year that was…  However, given everything that has transpired, perhaps that should be, looking forward to the year that will be?  Before everyone disappears into the sunset of 2020 to celebrate with friends and family, I wanted to extend my thanks to all of the wonderful people, through my role as an AILA WA executive member, that I have met, collaborated with and shared laughs with throughout this challenging year.  From virtual debates to online conferences, countless zoom meetings and an ‘in-person’ awards night. Thank you to all of AILA staff, executive members, sponsors and landscape architects. You have each contributed during this extraordinary time to what makes this industry so outstanding and such a joy to be part of.   I, and the rest of the executive wish you all a happy and healthy break and look forward to catching up with you all in 2021 when we will hit the ground running with new events, seminars and the revised strategic plan!

Take care.

News from AILA WA Executive - 25 November 2020 - Shea Hatch

Kaya all 

As many of us are thankful to see the end of 2020 (2021 will be better right!?)  why not celebrate our industries tenacity and resilience together at the Christmas party, if there was ever a year to enjoy a drink or two it has to be this one!  Leading up to the festivities I would encourage members to get involved with the Connection to Country challenge (download here ).  This is a great opportunity for WA members to participate in a fun and educational challenge with great prizes, you have to be in it to win it and you don’t want to be left empty handed at the Christmas Party when we announce the winners.

Whilst it has certainly been a challenging year AILA WA has bounced back and has been delivering some great events over the last few weeks.  Feedback from the recent Supplier Diversity event has been really positive and we look forward to offering our next RAP event in the early new year.  Whilst we certainly are a lucky state to be able to run our events in person the success of the Land-E-Scape online conference has taught us about opportunities for digital events allowing for national and international collaboration.  If you missed the events you will be able to purchase access to the Land-e-scape content in December - just in time for the summer holidays.  A huge thank you to Nicholas Pierson, AILA WA Executive member, who put in a lot of work with the national Land-E-Scape team to organise the event and to all WA speakers and attendees for contributing to making this event a success.   

Shea Hatch

Best wishes to Shea Hatch who is about to go on maternity leave, good luck Shea and Jon, we look forward to meeting your little bundle of joy soon! - AILA WA Executive Team

News from AILA WA Executive - 12 November 2020 - Carmen Williams

Our RAP and advocacy Committees have been active lately.  Last week we held held the very successful and informative Supplier Diversity event and this week we launched the Connection to Country Challenge in conjunction with NAIDOC Week.  Hopefully your office has embraced the Challenge and you have ticked off a few items and shared on socials!  Our Advocacy Committee has been developing collateral for the upcoming State Election and collaborating with AIA and PIA on advocacy and an event in early 2021.  We are also continuing to support the Office of Government Architect. We will be having a meeting in early December with Design WA about the Medium Density Housing Policy.

We hope to see you at the AILA WA End of Year Party!  We are saying adios to the crazy, unpredictable 2020 year at the new Neon Palms Bar in Northbridge. AILA Members are free, but registration  essential. 

We also have four new Registered Landscape Architects, congratulations to Rosie Halsmith, Nelson Jeffrey, Karen Lowndes, and Kelsie Davies.  We will be presenting their Certificates at the End of Year Party.

Finally, we are calling for nominations for AILA WA Awards Juror for 2021, if you would like to be involved or know someone who would make a fabulous juror, please send an Expression of Interest through to wa@aila.org.au.  Simply include your CV and a brief outline of why you would be a valuable addition to the jury.


News from AILA WA Executive - 30 September 2020 - Andrew Thomas

If the year had have gone to plan, we would have been busy in the lead up to the Festival of Landscape Architecture which is being led by a wonderful Perth based creative directorate.  This team signed up for what they thought would be twelve months of preparation to deliver the festival in Perth.  What has occurred is a marathon effort which will see this group of volunteers engaged on the project for two years culminating in the festival next year.  The effort and stamina that this group have shown to stay the course is fantastic and I can’t wait to celebrate the 2021 Festival of Landscape Architecture in Perth.

Standing in place of the festival this year is the Land-e-scape virtual conference which again is being curated by a generous group of volunteers.  As part of the Land-e-scape week the 2020 AILA National Landscape Architecture Awards Presentation is occurring on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00pm.  AILA WA are holding a watch party at the Norfolk Hotel in Fremantle and it would be great to have as many members as possible attend to celebrate the national award winners.

In addition to our members that are volunteering their time at a national level we also have a number of volunteers that continue to make the organisation work at a state level.  Our advocacy group, RAP team, registration panel and state executive have continued to work tirelessly to ensure that the organisation continues to deliver value for members  I would like to voice my gratitude to all of the volunteers that make our organisation work and will leave you with this thought for the day.

“We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give” Sir Winston Churchill

Andrew Thomas

News from AILA WA Executive - 16 September 2020 - Nicholas Pierson

As we head into the final quarter of 2020 things are starting to ramp up for the end of year rush! But before you start dreaming of your summer holidays and a wonder out yonder AILA has a few more exciting events to carry you through.
This year, in lieu of the national conference, which was scheduled to be held in Perth, AILA staff and the creative committee have been working tirelessly to arrange:
Land-e-Scape: Reset - Towards Healing
 The event will be held from Monday 12 October to Thursday 15 October 2020 via a digital platform.  Land-e-Scape: Reset – towards healing will invite landscape architects to collectively pause, reflect, discuss and explore the ways our profession can contribute to what comes next.  The week will cover four themes to explore the opportunities and acknowledge the work already underway.
·      Recuperation – Healing from event shock
·      Repair – Planetary Healing
·      Restore - Healing spaces that allow for enhanced connection and well-being
·      Reparation – Healing fractured relationships

Embracing the technology that has allowed us all to stay connected during the pandemic, we have been reaching out to landscape architects, designers, researchers, planners and associated disciplines from around the world. The week will bring together different international and national perspectives that we rarely have the opportunity to collaborate with on this level, to create an engaging, entertaining and educating experience as part of the event. 

Following the Land-e-Scape theme of reparation, join us for the Gender Equity Policy Launch and be part of the discussions and the direction of our industry. 

Wishing you all a happy and healthy run to the end of the year.

News from AILA WA Executive - 1 September 2020 - Shea Hatch


It’s the first day of Spring (in Noongar seasons we are right in the middle of Djilba) and the last few sunny days have certainly heralded in the season.  I feel especially fortunate this year to be a WA resident, not only because we have amazing native floral displays and glorious weather to enjoy throughout spring, but also because we are able to get out and see them!  A big silver lining of COVID has been the reminder of all the travel destinations we have on our own doorstep and I am currently planning a few short trips to catch the wildflowers over the next few months.  Wishing the best of luck to our eastern states friends that they too will be able to enjoy Spring adventures soon.

In AILA news, I was fortunate enough to share some truths, experiences and a few tears with fellow landscape architects at the Aboriginal Cultural Understanding and Awareness workshop hosted by Danny Ford.  For me the session was an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Aboriginal History, especially the impacts of colonisation, and its impact generations of Aboriginal people.  It was certainly a call to action for us and highlighted our role to support the ongoing healing of Aboriginal people.  This cultural training workshop was a broad learning opportunity and the RAP committee looks forward to implementing our RAP commitments through a range of Landscape specific events to show our support for this healing.  We hope to see more and more of our members attend and implement learnings from these events, and of course everyone is welcome at the RAP committee meetings!


News from AILA WA Executive - 20 August 2020 - Christina Nicholson


Good things are happening in the education of our future Landscape Architects at the UWA School of Design! This is a response to the survey that many practices responded to at the end of 2019 regarding the Master of Landscaper Architecture program (thank you!), the previous AILA National Accreditation Review, student feedback, the pandemic response of UWA to focus on career orientated studies, and the Climate and Biodiversity loss emergency that we currently live in. As well as, I have to say, good old persistence over many years, and especially due to the Head of the Landscape Architecture (LA) Program, Professor Maria Ignatieva arriving in 2018 with her worldly experience of LA Programs. These changes have resulted in a more refined curriculum that clearly defines the skills and graduate attributes of the LA Major and Master of LA graduates:

Major: developing the complex and creative thinking and methodologies within Landscape Architecture

Master: acting and practicing as a professional Landscape Architect with professional and academic teams


The biggest change for 2021 in terms of recruiting new students and career opportunities is the previous Bachelor of Arts (Landscape Architecture), has been renamed the Bachelor of Environmental Design (Landscape Architecture), this degree includes the Majors (Architecture) and (Geography and Planning) with the latter Major including many of the Landscape Architecture units.

The curriculum mapping and content of units in the LA Program focuses on developing a student’s way of approaching the world as a complex of interconnected and dynamic social, cultural and ecological systems. Amongst other refinements to unit descriptions, content and alignment the following improvements have been approved for next year:

In the Major a new capstone unit focused on landscape planning and management will begin in 2021, the plants unit has been moved to early in the course to ensure planting design is practiced in every LA studio and Culture of Nature has been redesigned to provide a theoretical and historical understanding of the relationship between humans and their environment and the subsequent creative and design responses, beginning from Australian Aboriginal culture.

A big focus for the Masters of LA is engaging genuine partnerships between the profession and the program; linking academics to the profession through course content partnerships, linking students to practices for more genuine Work Integrated Learning, linking student dissertation projects to practices. (Practitioners will soon receive a letter regarding this collaboration). The Site Manipulation unit has been moved from the undergraduate degree into the Masters with an emphasis on green and blue infrastructure and is taught alongside a design detail studio, whilst the Landscape and Urban Ecology unit is taught alongside a studio that focuses on contemporary theoretical and environmental issues facing the profession.

Here’s to the future of Landscape Architecture!



News from AILA WA Executive - 6 August 2020 - Melanie Bradley

Hi everyone

Wow, what a great night the AILA WA Awards was?! We were able to be present in person and the event was very well attended at the Old Pickle Factory in West Perth. Famous Sharon was truly famous and gave the proceedings an element of fun – which is much appreciated in the current COVID climate! Thanks to all of our sponsors for making this event successful. Here is hoping WA can continue to offer face-to-face gatherings in order to support members here. Aren’t we lucky to live in Western Australia?

On another note, Infrastructure WA has launched a Discussion Paper about a proposed Infrastructure Strategy for WA. This paper notes that the focus for the short term is on economic recovery and ‘shovel-ready’ projects…mainly roads, rail, etc. However, there are 5 recovery areas mentioned which should include input from AILA WA.

Some questions concerning the Strategy are included in the paper and need to be approached from a Sustainability perspective…ie social, environmental and economic as well as governance.

For instance, under future of the environment, the past (2000), today (2020) and tomorrow (2040+) foresees that climate change will be a significant driver for environmental management considerations, including restoration. I believe Landscape Architects are going to be a growing sector as we can provide advice for achieving conservation and enhancement NOW, hopefully off-setting the future costs of rehabilitation. The green infrastructure surrounding our cities, towns and regions is an immediate priority to address health and ensure our lifestyles do not continue down the path of ‘obesegenic’ cities. I would urge members to have a look and contribute to the conversation as the goals of the Strategy include maximizing liveability and cultural strategic opportunities for communities as well as addressing climate change and resilience. Green infrastructure needs to be embedded in the lexicon of the strategy and Landscape Architects need to have a seat at the table.

Please have a look  and see if there are any gaps that we can fill:


I am also including the position statement on green infrastructure  from National AILA: 

On another note, the National Continuing Professional Development Committee has been vetting online industry -provided learning modules in accordance with the CPD Policy and Framework, so, even if you are unable to attend face to face meetings, you can still earn CPD points.



Melanie Bradley AILA RPIA

News from AILA WA Executive - 21 July 2020 - Andrew Thomas


It's awards season and AILA WA are really excited to be holding a live event.  All is in readiness for a fantastic evening and we look forward to hosting a great awards night where we will all be able to catch up on the years happenings in person and celebrate the best that Western Australian Landscape Architecture has to offer.  If you haven’t got your tickets yet then please follow the link to get on board the hottest ticket on town.

In addition to the awards we will also be celebrating the people that make the institute what it is.  Our newest members will be awarded their registration certificates and we will also welcome a Fellow to the institute.

In other positive news for the profession Maria Ignatieva has recently been appointed as the Head of the Department (Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design) at the school of Design within the University of Western Australia.  Maria has also achieved the significant milestone of being promoted to the full professor level within the university making her the first female professor in the history of the School of Design/FALVA.  Both of these achievements are really significant not only in Maria’s career but also for the greater profession.  To have a Landscape Architect as the head of the department is a wonderful opportunity to have Landscape Architecture objectives not only be part of the discussion but to lead the discussion.  Congratulations Maria, I look forward to being involved in the future direction of the course at UWA and offer AILA WA’s full support in making sure that Landscape Architecture continues to be a crucial part of the design school.

I am also excited by the prospect of increased opportunities for research within the school of design.  With Maria’s leadership I am certain that more students will be encouraged to explore research and academia which in turn will influence practice when research findings are published with specific Western Australian context.

Despite all of the turmoil surrounding the world I think that it is an exciting time to be in Western Australia and most importantly to be a Landscape Architect.  Let’s follow Maria’s lead and keep working towards our goal of leading more and more discussions surrounding our built environment.

Andrew Thomas

AILA WA President

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

Kaya members,
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.

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.


News from AILA WA Executive 15 April 2020

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.

Nicholas Pierson

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

Stay Safe

Shea Hatch


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. 

Christina Nicholson

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 wa@aila.com.au 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.

Shea Hatch

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!

Carmen Williams

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 carmen.williams@aila.org.au 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.

Andrew Thomas

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.

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/04/planting-billions-trees-best-tackle-climate-crisis-scientists-canopy-emissions

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:

  1. Investing the development of a Living Infrastructure Strategy
  2. Supporting the creation of a National Living Infrastructure Fund
  3. Driving change in accountancy, business case preparation and feasibility process standards to enable living infrastructure to be considered an Asset Class (or equivalent)
  4. 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.

Upcoming events:

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.


Andrew Thomas

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.




Tilly Caddy

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.

Andrew Thomas

AILA WA President

News from AILA WA Executive 6/6/19 - Carl Thompson

Dear Readers,

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.

Best, Carl

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.

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