Director's Message - 9 April 2019

In coming weeks AILA will be distributing a platform and templates in preparation for the Federal Election.

We want every member, committee and chapter to use the platform and templates to engage with elected members and candidates in letters, meetings and media in the lead upto the Federal Election.

We would liketo hope that this could be the most consistent and broach reaching advocacy program undertaken in AILA’s history, and it requires action by all our members to enact. Advocacy requires all of us to use the same script and repeat it continuously at all levels to have outcomes, whether in formal committees in Canberra, or engaging with my local candidates in Cooran, regional Queensland, where I live half the time.

The platform we have chosen is “Greener, Liveable and Healthier Cities”. I appreciate that this doesn’t cover the breadth of the landscape profession or the environmental issues we are facing. But it does address key liveability and sustainable issues being faced by most Australians and Landscape Architects in our cities and towns. The concept and the problem is easily understood, and the roleof landscape architects in solving the issues is very clear.

AILA is still a youthful profession, being 50 years old, and we don’t have great experience (or available resources) to achieve broad reaching clear advocacy program using the collective voice of our members. During this election campaign we are not just asking for assistance by our members but empowering them with a voice that articulates criticalissues of our planet. From this campaign we will learn many lessons that we can then use to improve future federal and state elections and becomes embedded in our organisational culture and practice. But if we don’t start somewhere, we will never start.

Our government is based on democratic representation from across Australia. It is equallyimportant that the successful elected member of Wide Bay representing me in Cooran, Queensland(following my personal representations) comes to Canberra with the thought in their head “I made a commitment to support Greener, Healthier and Liveable Cities” and I need to support government in policy and funding to achieve it. Our individual actions have collective power if we can get it into every elected members head.

So, what we would like you to do:

  1. Use the templates to write to your local candidates; and
  2. Seek a meeting with candidates and respectfully articulate the Greener, Liveable and Healthier Cities platform.

At the National and State Chapter level will be using the same platform toprovide representations at Prime Minister, Ministerial and committee levels and obtain media coverage. We are also working with allied professions through the Living City Alliance to try and have consistent messaging with the other built environment professionals.

Look forward to getting on with it.

AILA President 

Shaun Walsh