ACA - SA 2016 President's Report

John Held , 19 June 2016

It’s been another busy year for the SA branch of ACA. Membership has increased and feedback positive.

Highlights of the 2015–2016 year include:

SA State of the Profession Report

The award of the SA Architectural Practice Board 2015 fellowship allowed us to design and undertake the first comprehensive survey of the profession in SA, which was released last month. The interest in the report has been considerable, and ACA has commissioned a diverse group of architects to reflect on what it means for the future of the profession. The first of the articles are now on the ACA website – they make interesting reading!

We also hope to be able to run the survey nationally – this will require a concerted effort to raise funds or sponsorship, but we believe it can be a worthwhile contribution to charting the future of the profession.

Keith Neighbour Study Group

This program goes from strength to strength, with the current group recently completing their registration exams. Comments from examiners have reinforced that the program has helped graduates better prepare for registration. We thank Chris Tan Consultants for recently agreeing to sponsor the program for the next two years.


We welcome Planned Cover as a sponsor for both the Round Tables and the Practice Administrators group. Their support is valuable in assisting us carrying out our agenda over the coming year.

Round Tables

We held four Round Tables over the past year:

  • Challenges to the Profession
  • Planning
  • Architects’ Time/Cost Calculation Giode
  • ESD Consultants

All of the discussions were valuable and highly regarded by those who attended.  We encourage more of our members to attend – it is an opportunity to have true dialogue with a range of other professionals.


We are pleased that formal meetings have recommenced with the MBA. Our common concerns with developments in DPTI have been a major topic, along with a realisation that the MBA/AIA/ACA code of tendering needs updating, including adding procedures for electronic tendering.

Roof Safety

John Schmidt of GHD Woodhead has been working on a procedure for roof safety that will cover both access by architects during the construction period and also for inspections not part of construction activity. This should be issued shortly.

DPTI Procurement and Prequalification

ACA has spent a great deal of time in discussion with DPTI in recent times.  The changes to the organisation have meant most systems and procedures are up for review, and the voice of the architectural community needs to be heard. We believe architects have much to contribute to good procurement practices, and we have raised concerns about possible future directions. We have the opportunity to assist government in proper processes through early engagement to ensure projects are properly scoped and budgeted.  We are working closely with the AIA to ensure architects have a clear and common approach to these issues. We are also involved in discussions around how DPTI might best introduce BIM to their processes and are in constant dialogue with both the MBA and specialist subcontractor organisations to ensure a common viewpoint where possible. We are concerned about possible wholesale introduction of D&C procurement for smaller social infrastructure projects.

Recent discussions with both DPTI and the Treasurer have been more encouraging and we look forward to further engagement. We have also recently met separately with DECD to discuss ways of engaging architects earlier on projects using methods such as agreed fees and cascading consultancy engagement to streamline the process.

Practice Administrators Group

The group met a number of times this year, coordinated by our executive officer Sascha Byrne. The membership has expanded and we believe it is a valuable networking and information resource for administrators in architectural practices – sometimes a lonely job!

Dialogue with the Institute of Architects

As noted previously we have been working closely with the AIA to coordinate our work and define our respective roles as the voice for practices and the profession respectively.

White Card Training

We conducted a White Card training session this year and subsidised attendees, and are happy to run the same course again when there is sufficient demand.

WHS Safety in Design Guidelines

We have been in discussion with DPTI to see if they will adopt the ACA proformas for Safety in Design and Residual Risk Registers.

Unfair Terms and Contracts for Small Business

Mario Dresoti prepared a submission for ACA on draft legislation relating to unfair terms of contract for small businesses. The submission is available on the ACA Website.


Thanks must go to our Executive Officer, Sascha Byrne; the committee and all who have assisted in our work this year.  Our committee is:

President:                                       John Held

Vice-President:                              Mario Dreosti

Secretary:                                       Graham Hardy

Treasurer:                                       Ian Hore

Committee:                                     Adrian Evans

David Holland

David Kilpatrick

Thomas Masullo

Susan Phillips

John Schmidt

Simon Thomson

Richard Woods


John Held, ACA SA President

June 2016