WA News & Media


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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