12 June 2019

A year in review


With the end of the financial year fast approaching it is a great time to reflect on what AILA has been up to the last 12 months. This isn’t a full list as it would be almost impossible to capture all the initiatives that AILA is undertaking, particularly those that happen at the state chapter level. There are countless events, submissions to government and profile activities that happen all year round. The following is just snapshot of some of the initiatives that we’ve undertaken to enhance the service and experience for members.

 

Membership

Gender Equity Census Report and Working Group

AILA partnered up with Parlour and Monash University XYX Lab to develop a Census Report which explored female participation in Landscape Architecture. The results have been promoted broadly and while there are a couple of positives for the profession such as similar participation rates of the genders across the board and pay equity for graduats, there is still plenty to work on.

The report was released in December 2018 and since then AILA has developed a Gender Equity Working Group who is driving actions and activities that respond to the report.

Development of a Communications Strategy

This behind the scenes initiative is an important one to help better identify and improve the way that AILA communicates with members. It called out key things like improving the website, updating our email platforms, the ongoing need to profile the profession through Foreground and the new Projects Website.

We launched a new website

AILA spent some time during the year to upgrade our website platform. The changes come after AILA listened to the feedback of members by trying to simplify the design of the website and improve navigation. The database and platform provider remain the same for AILA, so this change is an upgrade of system, rather than a complete website overhaul of website design.

Reengagement of the International Federation of Landscape Architects

AILA has been working closely with IFLA to explore ways that our members can benefit from our association with the international body. After much deliberation, AILA has agreed to become a financial member of IFLA again. We will promote opportunities for members to get involved at an international level over the coming months and year.

Developed a new jobs Board

The new jobs board that AILA has developed now has over 800 job seekers. The new platform was introduced in August 2018 and has professionalised the way jobs are communicated to the market. It is a self-serving platform that has sped up the time it takes for a job to be posted on aila.org.au. Close to 400 jobs have been promoted since August.

Reconciliation

Reconciliation continues to be a key initiative for AILA. The ongoing work of the Connection to Country Committee has continued to implement the Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan. State Chapters have been key in broadening the reach of our Reconciliation work with events and initiatives now happening across the national.

A Connection to Country Position Statement was developed and released during the year. This position statement recognises landscape architects’ professional responsibilities to the land (‘Country’) and its people.


Profile

Projects: Landscape Architecture in Australia

In June 2018, AILA launched a new website to better profile award winning projects. Projects: Landscape Architecture in Australia now has dozens of best practice and high quality landscape architecture on display for members and the public. The platform is supported by a growing social media following.

The Expanding Field: The 2018 International Festival of Landscape Architecture

The 2018 Festival was another successful event with close to 500 people from across the profession descending on the Gold Coast for four days of networking, inspiration, celebration and reflection.

The creative directors from TCL did an incredible job curating a program that promoted the great diversity within landscape architecture practice and promoted our critical role in tackling contemporary challenges.

Review and renewal of Foreground

It has been three years since AILA first engaged URO Publishing to develop Foreground so it was timely that a review was undertaken. During the last year, AILA has reaffirmed the ongoing strategic need to have a digital platform that profiled landscape architecture and the role they play in the development of cities and towns. Foreground is on track to reach over 11,000 subscribers and 100,000 unique visitors this year. AILA will continue to work with our partner to refine and enhance the platform to continue profiling the profession to a broad audience.

Ideas Competitions - Future Park and Remaking Lost Connections

There are currently two ideas competition underway.

The AILA ACT Chapter has worked closely with the ACT Government and the National Capital Authority to develop an ideas competition which is exploring the issues of climate change in Canberra’s cultural, natural and built environments.

The competition encourages entrants to develop innovative and creative responses that inspire the role of the urban landscape in Canberra and connect people to place.

The second competition is Future Park, which is in partnership with the University of Melbourne. This ideas competition challenges professional and emerging landscape architects, urban designers, architects and planners to speculate on new park possibilities for a future Melbourne. How can parks shape Melbourne’s urban form? Where should this new public open space be located, how should it be configured and what is its role?

The winner will be announced at the 2019 Festival. Both competitions have $15,000 of prize money on offer.

 

Advocacy

Call for a Green Infrastructure Strategy

In November 2018, AILA hosted the Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities event at Parliament House. In front of politicians and key built environment leaders, AILA used the platform to call on the federal government to develop a National Green Infrastructure Strategy.

Federal government election campaign

AILA developed a coordinated advocacy campaign for the 2019 federal election using the platform of Greener, Liveable & Healthier Cities. The platform was supported by a public campaign that also encouraged members to contact their local candidates to back AILA’s election platform.

As a result of the campaign, we had a reach of over 13,000 engagements on social media, 12 publications in mainstream media, dozens of examples where members contacted their local candidates and we influenced the platform of the Labor Party.

AILA looks forward to working with the Coalition Government to implement a Living Infrastructure Strategy to support City Deals through our ongoing representation on the Cities Reference Group and engagement with Infrastructure Australia

State Chapter Advocacy

There are numerous examples of advocacy work at the state and local government levels through the effective efforts of State Chapters. AILA mobilized to run effective state election campaigns in Victoria and NSW. There have been numerous examples of AILA influencing policy of health departments and planning agencies across the country.


Sustainability

Launched a renewed strategic plan

In August 2018, AILA released a renewed Strategy Plan 2018-2022. The Strategy will continue to focus on the four key pillars of membership growth, building the profile of the profession, advocating to government and creating a sustainable AILA.

The previous Strategy was over halfway through its cycle, so the timing was right to review the achievements of AILA and reset future focused goals.

Constitutional Reform

AILA undertook some important constitutional reform as part of the ongoing commitment to good governance. Following approximately a year of planning and consultation with state chapter executives and members, a General Meeting in May 2019 saw the endorsement of key changes to the constitution which reiterated AILA’s commitment to Reconciliation, gender equity and business stability.  

Cultural Framework

A Culture and Values Framework was created to supported how AILA operates. This Framework applies to AILA Staff and volunteers who are contributing to the operations of the organization.

Stabilized the financial position

In the 2017-18 financial year, AILA recorded a significant financial loss. Pleasingly, the finances of the organization have stabilized and it is anticipated that the organization will be returned to surplus in 2018-19.

Looking Forward

While much of the above will feature as part of AILA’s ongoing work, there are some other new and exciting activities that will form part of AILA’s offering for 2019-2020. This will be in addition to all of the great benefits that our members have come to expect.

Regional Membership

AILA recognizes that it can do more to service our regionally based members. Some of our services can often be aligned to where the greatest density of members are, our capital cities however, we know that if we want to be a truly national and successful membership organisation we need to find more effective ways to connect with all members, regardless of location.

The AILA Board has commenced a piece of work to further investigate what the service should look like and how it could be resourced.

High School Engagement Program

One of the more significant future focused challenges for the profession is ensuring there is a steady flow of domestic students studying landscape architecture. AILA will develop a campaign to promote the profession to high school students.

People Recognition Program

AILA’s Honors Committee has developed a framework for a People Recognition Program. This program will sit separately to the Project Awards and will provide another opportunity to profile the profession throughout the year.