National President's Message, 6 June 2016

6 June 2016

Friends and Colleagues,

It was with a great deal of excitement and pride that I was on the jury for Australia’s Best Playground, and despite a very impressive field, Nature Play at Royal Park, was announced as the winner last week. Congratulations to the City of Melbourne’s Skye Haldane and the design team on the winning project! Nature Play is located adjacent to Melbourne’s new Royal Children’s Hospital, and was applauded for its responsive design – to the local heritage of place by focusing on the seven season of the Wurundjeri as well as respecting the highly valued character of Royal Park, and by encouraging patient and staff interaction. Click here to view the winning projects. Also a big thanks to Lappset for their support for this great initiative, we are very appreciative of Lappset’s ongoing support of AILA.

The 2016 Queensland Landscape Architecture Awards ceremony was held on Friday night, the event was a complete sell out and was accessed via a live webcast across QLD and overseas. Entries were received into 10 of the 11 categories and a total 14 Awards were awarded. The jury commented that “This year has seen a shift toward Masterplanning and site design, beginning to realise many of the strategic projects awarded in recent years. The diversity of projects that Queensland Landscape Architects are working on is breathtaking, as is our demonstrated ability to articulate a logic and coherence of design simultaneously across many scales.” Check out the winners here.


Our CEO, Shahana McKenzie, was invited to join the Australian Financial Review’s National Round-table on Greening Cities last week in Sydney, joining organisations including the Climate Institute, the Green Building Council and the newly formed Greater Sydney Commission (chaired by Lucy Turnbull). The AFR will be publishing the conversation as in a feature section of the paper and online over the next 2 weeks. This is advocacy in action - during what is turning into an unrelenting election campaign!

With fewer than 30 sleeps until the early bird rate closes for the NIMBY Festival in October and over 30 engaging and exciting speakers confirmed, don’t forget to plan and book your ticket and travel plans to take advantage of the savings. If you are booking a group, don’t forget that if you purchase 5 tickets you’ll receive a 6th free. We’re also excited to announce a Student Summit alongside the Festival (more on this soon) and my thanks to the Universities in their support of this. We are confident this will be a great meeting of our future leaders and emerging minds in the profession.

Last month I provided an update on coming changes to how we communicate with you, with the final Landscape Architecture Australia magazine to be published to coincide with the NIMBY Festival in October, as well as details on AILA’s new and very exciting digital platform. Our colleagues across the pond, the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA), led by President Shannon Bray @shannonbrayla, have recently announced their intention to also replace their quarterly printed magazine with a new online and dynamic website. You can download the new magazine and all the happenings in NZ here, the first edition in the new format. Well done NZILA!

As part of membership renewals issued last week, you may have noticed any member can elect to pay their membership by monthly direct debit. If this is of interest, make sure you elect to pay by the month and complete the form by 30 June 2016.

I’m a big fan of the benefits of social media, and if you aren’t aware, our AILA handle is @AILA_National on Twitter. Our CEO @Shahana_Mck and many National Council members are active tweeters across a range of topics and issues. We’re always happy to be contacted this way but perhaps more importantly ask that more members ‘join the conversation’ (as a well know ABC TV host says every Monday evening!) The benefits include profiling your work, with the added benefit of raising the profile of the profession. It can also be a platform for raising challenges and opportunities, and perhaps we can consider adding your twitter or facebook handle on our profile pages.

Ultimately, in an election year, profile and advocacy, together with influencing policy and projects, are critical, so get on board…

As always, please contact me if you have things to share or discuss or contact the National Office.

Have a good week!

Daniel Bennett

Registered Landscape Architect

National President

Twitter: @DJB_LA

Tweets Tweet to @AILA_National