National Presidents Message - 26 September 2016

Friends and colleagues,

The 2016 Festival of Landscape Architecture is going to be the largest gathering of landscape architects ever in Australia and it’s great to see so many members and industry professionals travelling to our nation’s capital for what is going to be an incredible couple of days. As the main Conference venue (Gandel Hall, National Gallery) has now reached capacity, the Conference will now be live-streamed to the National Gallery’s James O’Fairfax Theatre as an overflow space, a one minute walk away. You can experience Conference sessions from comfy seats, whilst still enjoying all other Festival elements including catering breaks with other delegates and speakers. No further tickets are going to be released once sold out so make sure to get in quick if you are planning n coming!

As you are aware, I have been very excited at the interest in joining the evolution of AILA, with the recent Board elections. I am very pleased to offer my heartfelt congratulations to the newly elected Board which is made up of following AILA members and Fellows:

  • Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard
  • Angus Bruce
  • Barbara Schaffer
  • Linda Corkery
  • Shaun Walsh

Thank you to everyone who voted and especially those members who nominated. It is great to see so many people invested in AILA’s future and willing to volunteer their time to lead, contribute and shape our great profession. I have been proud to lead the current Board and have no doubt the new board will build on the great achievements, particularly over the last 12 months.

The new Board will be sworn in at the 2016 Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Festival, on Friday 28 October. Registered members are eligible to vote so we hope to see as many of you there as possible. Even if you can’t make it, fill in a proxy form so you can still have your say. Click here for access to all documents relating to the AGM. Come and meet your new Board!

At the last Board meeting which took place on 15th September, we endorsed The Charter for Australian Landscape Architects, which now replaces The Australian Landscape Charter after an extensive 18-month review. The document includes reviewed landscape principles, and is a more effective way to identify our aspirations as a profession. See further information here about the process and accessing the new Charter. I look forward to hearing your comments.

AILA is also undertaking a major public activation for kids as part of the Festival.

Kidscape will provide the kids of Canberra with activities that will inspire and excite them, generate imagination and encourage them to ask questions that start conversations focused on city design, living in an urban environment and how they see the future of their city. Through workshops and temporary installations, Kidscape will be an event full of diverse, fun, creative play including; parkour workshops, mountain bike pump trails, a greenwall installation, stories in the trees, urban farming workshops, nature play and free play with the use of natural, raw materials, hay bales, shipping ropes, cardboard encouraging kids to build their own spaces, get dirty and use their imaginations!

The Festival of Landscape Architecture is shaping up to be our best ever – with 500 delegates coming from near and afar – our Creative Director, Richard Weller, and his team have curated a fantastic program, and our festival partners have also curated some amazing fringe events. I really do look forward to see you all in Canberra, in just 5 weeks!

As always, please drop me a line if I can be of assistance or advice, or contact the National Office. I always appreciate feedback and contact, and please continue to tweet and FB your views to @AILA_National and @DJB_LA

Daniel Bennett

National President

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects

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