National President's Message - 6 July 2015

Dear Members,

It has just clicked over 17 months since I joined the Institute, and boy has it been a busy time! As the National President is currently on holidays in northern WA, he asked that I provide a short update to you all on what we’ve achieved in the last 12 months, and what we’re looking forward to.

The first 12 months of my role was heavily dominated with creating the systems, structures and governance to put AILA in a sustainable position for the future. In saying that, we did manage to have a positive impact beyond internal operations, some of the highlights for me include;

  1. Engaging with members in our 14 National committees and task groups to identify how the organisation can innovate and lead across a range of areas including;
    1. Practice (National Practice Committee)
    2. CPD (National CPD Committee)
    3. Education (National Education Committee)
    4. Membership (National Membership Committee)
    5. Advocacy (National Advocacy Committee)
    6. Recognition (50th Anniversary Steering Committee)
    7. Awards (Awards Review Taskforce)
    8. Finance (Finance, Risk Management, Audit & Procedures Committee)
    9. Regional areas (National Regional Working Group)
    10. Public sector (National Public Sector Working Group)
    11. Publications (Landscape Architecture Australia Editorial Advisory Group & the Publications Review Taskforce)
    12. Strategy (Strategy Steering Committee)
    13. AILA Fresh at a National level
  2. Launching the new AILA website, member communications and engaging proactively with media at the local, state and national level
  3. Generating close to $400,000 in partnerships and sponsorship to support AILA
  4. Restructuring finances to provide almost double the membership allocation to chapters to support local programs, advocacy and profiling
  5. Developing transparent and positive relationships with the University programs, and developing a new Accreditation process and policy collaboratively.
  6. Developing the new AILA strategy 2015-2020
  7. Launching the first Festival of Landscape Architecture in Brisbane, with Melbourne knocking on the door, and Canberra just over a year away.

The next 12 months is where the fun really starts to happen, we have some ambitious plans and I’m excited to give you a sneak preview;

  1. AILA is becoming very active in the advocacy space, and will be consulting with members on the advocacy strategy in the coming months. Our ambitions in the space are grand and we will be working to deliver the best possible results for Landscape Architects.

    We have been actively meeting with Ministers and MP’s over the last few months. Key Ministers and groups we have been meeting/involved with include;

    1. Deputy Prime Ministers Office, Warren Truss MP
    2. Environment Minister, Greg Hunt and office
    3. Assistant Minister for Infrastructure & regional development, Jamie Briggs MP
    4. Labour Committee for Cities
    5. Anthony Albanese MP
    6. Infrastructure Australia
    7. Parliamentary Friendship Group for Better Cities

      In addition to this, AILA has been developing strong ties within the Industry. This includes the following;

    8. Engineers Australia
    9. The Heart Foundation
    10. Planning Institute Australia
    11. Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia
    12. Australian Institute of Architects
    13. Green Building Council
    14. Horticulture Innovation Australia
    15. 202020 Vision
    16. ASBEC, with three AILA members now involved in task groups on Urban Design, Cities and Resilience
    17. National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF)
    18. CSIRO
    19. Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living
    20. Government Architects Network Australia
    21. Australian Deans of the Built Environment
    22. ADC forum

      AILA is in the process of organising a Living Infrastructure summit to occur early next year. The event is planned to take place at Parliament House during a sitting period and will involve key thought leaders from industry and government. The program is progressing, and a membership reference group has been formed to oversee content.

      AILA is also looking at how it can assist with research in key areas, and is currently working with some of the groups above to identify opportunities for collaboration and leverage.

  2. AILA is putting the spotlight on Landscape Architects and their role in the public. A range of exciting programs and campaigns will be rolling out over the coming months, including:
    1. A new Awards Program aimed to raise the profile of Landscape Architecture
    2. A community park campaign in partnership with 202020 Vision, designed to engage the general public in understanding the importance of good quality open space
    3. A high school campaign to increase student interest and pursuit in the profession of Landscape Architecture
    4. A national media strategy coupled with support to state chapters to increase the profile of Landscape Architecture
    5. A range of new initiatives to allow AILA to profile the work of LA’s in the public through digital media
    6. The increasing broadening of the Festival of Landscape Architecture to engage with the public. Melbourne is already shaping up to be a fantastic program of events, activations and campaigns and the International Festival of Landscape Architecture taking place in Canberra next year is growing in size, scope and engagement day by day.
    7. A fantastic campaign to support AILA turning 50 in 2016, including digital exhibitions, lectures and even possibly a film on Landscape Architecture in Australia
  3. On top of this, there is a great deal of member-targeted initiatives both taking place and soon to be launched, including;
    1. A new CPD program, including a strong digital element to support regional members
    2. A range of practice support services including legal, motoring and benchmarking across a range of areas
    3. The restructure of AILA membership to a robust registration system
    4. The renewal of AILA’s constitution to create governance structures to support the organisations performing at its best

We truly hope you are happy with the direction AILA is taking, and the work we have been doing. As always, we welcome all feedback and please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions, comments or suggestions. AILA is achieving a great deal at the moment, and I would like to thank the members and staff for their dedication, energy and generosity in making AILA the best it can be.

Regards

Shahana

AILA CEO

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