CEO Report – March 2024

13 March 2024

Who is the ACA? Why do we exist? How can we continue to deliver meaningful benefits to our members? What legacy do we want to leave behind for future generations? These were the meta questions we interrogated over two big strategy days earlier this month with our National Executive Committee and branch committee members.

Too often we get caught up in the cycle of ‘business as usual’, but as we know, there’s nothing usual about our business and the key to our ongoing worth is about checking in regularly to ensure we are on track with our charter…


The ACA welcomes the publication of the WGEA gender pay gap data and shares its aspiration to create fairer, more equitable workplaces, in which people of all genders can progress and thrive. Equity in practice is a key priority in the work the ACA does. For example, through our partnership with Parlour and the Champions of Change Architecture Group, our Stepping Up program has shared tools and instigated conversations about creating equity in architectural practice. (See the first Stepping Up event for the year on Leadership & Structural Change.) The ACA is following WGEA’s work with interest, and we’re keen to see those pay gaps diminish over time, as new policies are put in place within practice.


Last month, the second part of the Federal Government’s Closing Loopholes legislation passed through both houses of Parliament. Part 2 features many significant changes to Australia’s current workplace law, including redefining casual employment, massive increases to civil penalties for wage theft, and introducing the ‘right to disconnect’. These are all very critical issues that employers must know, so it’s imperative that members keep abreast of these ever-changing rules. As always, we will keep you on top of these updates as and when they happen. Head to our IR Updates page for more information.

A reminder that late last year, the Fair Work Commission approved the ACA’s application to amend the Architects Award to reflect the new National Standard of Competency for Architects. The ACA has been working in conjunction with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) to vary the terms of the Architects Award 2020 (the Award) to ensure it incorporates the new NSCA and remains clear and relevant for employers and employees in the industry. The Award is available for download here. I recently met with Kathlyn Loseby, CEO of the AACA, as we continue to keep the lines of communication between our organisations open and effective.


I was delighted to celebrate the Beaton Client Choice Awards’ 20th anniversary with George and his team. In the professional services sector, it’s not always about design awards. The Client Choice Awards focus on the business of architecture and the importance of client feedback. These awards recognise professional services firms for outstanding client service, judged by the most important stakeholders of all: clients.

  • Angelina & Kathlyn Loseby
  • Paul Viney, Angelina & Client Choice team


The ACA continues to develop and update our suite of resources and business tools to make it easier for you to carry on your business with peace of mind and confidence that we’ve got you covered. To add to the vast array of employment templates, contracts and help desk advisory services, we’ve recently created a business continuity guide (with the AIA) to help you navigate the complexities of disaster planning. Also in the pipeline for your business is the much-awaited guide on unfair contract terms and an updated version of the Time Cost Calculator Guide, so stay tuned!


I recently attended an Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) meeting, with several pertinent industry issues on the agenda. Anna Cronin, CEO of the Victorian Building Authority, provided an update on their work. In response, we asked how we, as professional and industry associations, can contribute more effectively at the policy stage of government decisions, not just at the implementation end. While this continues to be a work in progress, our next step is to coordinate a series of meetings with key government leaders to put our views forward.

John Murray AM also joined our discussion. In 2018, John authored a landmark report reviewing the security of payment laws, with 85 recommendations. He has championed the issue of security of payment ever since. The ACA has scrutinised the security of payment issue for some time. Last year, our Victorian Building Reform Forum shared findings from a University of Melbourne survey, which identified most of the issues contained in that review.

These included:

  • The need for good procurement practices to ensure good outcomes.
  • The need for a coordinated approach to fair and insurable contracts, with some current contract issues pushing risk to parties less able to carry that risk.
  • Risk to builders being passed down to subcontractors and a race to the bottom in outcomes and sustainable business.

We were also asked to provide feedback on Standards Australia’s new mobile app, where packages of standards for the construction industry can be purchased for around $100. This is touted as a major step forward for the industry, and the result of significant advocacy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include the standards required of architects, so we are back advocating again loudly for more affordable and accessible standards for this profession.

Earlier this month, Paul Viney and the VIC/TAS branch committee and the Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) were pleased to register a joint submission for the review of the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (the Review) to the Victorian Department of Government Services. More to come.

  • Angelina with the ACIF team


The Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum toolkit series is back again this year. The aim with this series is to open up conversations within practice around each of the AMWF toolkit topics and how we can work together towards a stronger, healthier, happier profession. The next session is on Technology and how we can avoid being slaves to it by setting boundaries, using tech effectively and getting on top of time management. Join us on Thursday 11 April for another great panel discussion.


After four years of the ACA being actively involved as a partner in the national Wellbeing of Architects research project, I am so pleased to share the news of the two-day Wellbeing of Architects symposium on 8–9 May. Our multi-faceted involvement saw us supporting their surveys and reports, shining a light on the project’s important work through our AMWF event series, and highlighting the importance of wellbeing across the profession. The event will also launch the Guides to Wellbeing in Practice, a set of research-informed guides that support action towards transformative change. Make sure you mark this in your calendars!

This week I visited the Arch_Manu [ARC Centre for Next-Gen Architectural Manufacturing]. Thanks to Dr Ivana Kuzmanovska, Farnaz Fattahi and the Centre’s team for their hospitality and guided tour. From meeting Everley the robot, learning how mycelium is being engineered as low emission building materials, seeing plans for the Australian-first 3D printed residential home, and so much more explored, it’s shaping up to be an invaluable research project for the AEC industry. Arch_Manu aims to enhance the business models within architecture by informing courses and educational frameworks through industry collaboration. The ACA is a proud partner on this project and we look forward to contributing to this work.

  • Arch_Manu visit
  • Angelina & Everley the robot
  • Farnaz Fattahi, Angelina, Ivana Kuzmanovska & Alexander Jung.


Who is the ACA?

Consider us your outsourced business partner, from IR, HR, legal, management, leadership, research and business support.

Why do we exist?

To help you run your businesses more productively, ethically, profitably and sustainably by offering reliable, relevant and timely advice, resources, tools, updates, information and news.

How can we continue to deliver meaningful benefits to our members?

Through your ongoing support as members and the generosity of our national partners. Without you, we can’t continue to invest in these wide-ranging member benefits. So, thank you!

What legacy do we want to leave behind for future generations?

A more equitable, conscientious, sustainable profession that is healthy and happy to serve our communities today and into the future.

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