2016 - A Year of Optimism & Promise

Steve Kennedy , 5 February 2016

ACA National President, Steve Kennedy, welcomes members to an optimistic 2016.

Holidays are over, kids are at school, staff are back and we can settle in to another year. While we may focus our business activities on the financial year, many of us use the calendar year as our core planning and activity cycle, and this message comes to you as we head into 2016 with vigour and optimism.  

Unlike many years in recent times, the message we are receiving is a positive one, with the architectural industry in relatively good shape. Employment is good, there is a reasonable level of activity and future prospects appear sound. Sure, there is a lot that could be better and the ACA remains committed to addressing these issues, particularly around procurement – but we also have much to be grateful for and should acknowledge that most of us can approach the new year with enthusiasm. And that is how it should be.

Consider these statistics from the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF). The Australian building and construction industry 

  • Accounts for approximately 8% of national GDP
  • Provides employment for over 9% of the national workforce
  • Contributes over $100 billion to the Australian economy annually
  • Generates over $300 billion in income annually

And, as we all know, architecture is firmly embedded in that economy. Our role as high-level problem solvers and innovative thinkers is crucial to the strength, vibrancy and cohesiveness of our society.

What we need to do better is make sure that the rest of Australia understands, respects and appreciates how important our industry is.

This is what the ACA, as the voice of the Business of Architecture, is very much focused on – getting the message out!
It's not easy or quick and I understand the frustration some members feel about this, but I also know that the respect that the ACA has earned from government, the media, our sibling organisations and our members has grown substantially in recent times and continues to grow.

This is largely due to the fact that the ACA remains firmly focused on our strategic agenda and has consistently delivered activities, tools and information of great benefit to members and the construction industry at large.

Here at ACA we apply the same principles to the operation of our organisation as we advocate for our members in their own businesses – know your market; build your strengths; operate professionally, ethically and efficiently; and deliver value for money. These are the key messages every business coach recites and they remain our drivers.

The clearest indicator of the health of a membership organisation is its membership – both its ability to retain the ongoing support and loyalty of existing members and to attract new members. The ACA continues to achieve both, with our membership growing steadily over recent years.  

In real terms the ACA grew by approximately 10% in 2015, a significant and solid achievement. We look forward to similar and ongoing growth in 2016. It's a pleasure to welcome so many new members to the ACA and to thank our many long-term members for their ongoing support and loyalty.

So we look forward to 2016 with optimism and interest. We have a strong program planned including developing more research and information and launching new tools to assist our members in their business planning and operation.

My best wishes for the year.

Please don't hesitate to contact me at anytime

Steve Kennedy, nswpres@aca.org.au

Steve Kennedy is National President of the ACA.

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