Directors Message - 19 March 2020

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects wishes to acknowledge that at this difficult time the health and well-being of our staff, members, partners and community is foremost in our minds. As such we have been considering our response to this unprecedented situation. Our approach is informed by government health recommendations and supports their approach in minimising infection to slow the spread of the virus.

The information below is intended to provide clarity around our events and operations for the foreseeable future. Broadly, the events for which AILA is noted cannot continue in their present form for this year. No one knows how long the implications are likely to last, however we have made the decision to be proactive in relation to events proposed in 2020. 

For all at AILA, including our broad stakeholder network, this also represents a chance to get creative in our alternatives, to leave no option unconsidered and indeed to have some fun in what is otherwise a very sombre time.

We look forward to working with you in the coming weeks and months to continue to celebrate and promote Landscape Architecture and the wonderful people, practices and supporting partners that make our places uniquely liveable. 

Will State and National Events and Awards be proceeding?
Yes. But not as face to face events. In line with guidelines about mass gatherings which are only likely to tighten in coming weeks, all events in their traditional format will not proceed. As above we will be developing, along with our members and partners, creative ways to host events that share knowledge and practice and to celebrate and acknowledge the very best in Australian Landscape Architecture. AILA is still committed to the current timelines for awards.

Will the 2020 AILA Festival be proceeding?
No. The 2020 Festival of Landscape Architecture will not be proceeding in its proposed and traditional format.  However, there will be a celebration and National Awards, the exact format is yet to be determined.  We look forward to working with our members and partners over the coming weeks and months to develop unique and memorable events during October 2020.

It is AILAs intention for Western Australian to host the Festival of Landscape Architecture in October 2021. The Creative Directors of Spectacle & Collapse will remain, having a further 12 months to make an event even better than planned!

Will award entry deadlines be extended?
Yes. To acknowledge the challenges each organisation faces, an extension of one week for applications to be submitted has been agreed. The deadline for all award entries is now Tuesday 7th April.

Can I still meet with AILA staff?
Wherever possible face to face meetings will be replaced with video or teleconferencing. Where  attendance is critical at meetings the number of participants should be kept to a minimum and social distancing protocols for the workplace should be observed.

Will there be refunds for events?
In this challenging time we would love to issue full refunds but we also want to continue as an organisation supporting you and the future of our profession. If you wish to be credited your event attendance fee for a future event then please advise your local chapter manager and or finance@aila.org.au. We will track this and enable you to access this in future. Alternatively please advise us of your bank account details if you had paid by direct deposit, otherwise we can process directly back onto your credit card.

On behalf of AILA I would like to thank you for your anticipated support and aid of chapter staff in the coming weeks and months as we all work together to ensure that we meet the current challenges undaunted and with creative and energetic flair!
 

Ben Stockwin,
CEO-AILA