President’s comments

The ACA National President provides regular commentary on the matters that impact ACA members and the profession, and the strategies we can all take to address them.


President’s Comment – April 2024

15 April 2024

Why would an architect move to project management? Is it better money, more fulfilment, a clearer career path, better life balance? ACA President John Held ponders why people make the shift and the work the profession needs to do to hold onto its promising young talent.

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President’s Comment – February 2024

14 February 2024

ACA National President John Held reflects on the nature of quality in the built environment, from design, documentation, construction and environmental aspects to the quality of the profession itself, from graduates up to senior architects.

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President’s Comment – December 2023

12 December 2023

As the year comes to a close, ACA National President John Held reflects on the expanding activities of the organisation, from IR and the nuts and bolts of profitable practice, to mental wellbeing, business planning and marketing, and advocating for students, graduates, managers and leaders.

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President’s Comment – August 2023

2 August 2023

It’s been a busy month of advocacy for the ACA. National President John Held outlines some of the ACA’s current advocacy work and emphasises the importance of collaboration when trying to make a difference.

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President’s Comment – June 2023

28 June 2023

ACA National President John Held reflects on education, ongoing learning, obstacles for students and graduates, and ACA advocacy and support of the latest research.

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End-of-Year Reflections 2022

8 December 2022

As yet another year draws to a close, ACA CEO Angelina Pillai and ACA President John Held reflect on the hard work, activities and priorities of the ACA over 2022, and exciting plans for the year ahead.

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President’s Comment – November 2022

9 November 2022

ACA President John Held takes us through the highs and lows of the month, from an uplifting NEC meeting in Adelaide to the profitless boom, regulatory battles and poor procurement practices, and the need to work towards better quality of life for practice owners, their staff, their clients, our society and the planet.

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President’s Comment – September 2022

11 September 2022

Pandemics, personal tragedies and economic downturns strike unexpectedly. We need to look for ways to support others and help our profession be better, writes ACA National President John Held.

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President’s Comment – June 2022

22 June 2022

ACA National President John Held discusses some of the current issues dogging the construction industry, including price rises, materials shortages, labour scarcity and delays, and the resultant impacts on building contracts.

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President’s Comment – May 2022

11 May 2022

ACA President John Held reviews the ACA’s advocacy, activities and priorities over the last six months, covering automatic mutual recognition, flexibility, mental wellbeing and equity in practice.

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President's Comment – January 2022

11 January 2022

As we embark on another pandemic year full of uncertainty and disruption, John Held invites members to ask questions and give feedback to help the ACA provide assistance in the months ahead.

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President’s Comment – December 2021

6 December 2021

As we prepare to farewell 2021, ACA President John Held reflects on the challenges, opportunities and lessons learned over the last year.

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President’s Comment – November 2021

10 November 2021

The effects of low fees and long hours on mental wellbeing in the architecture profession is becoming increasingly clear, but if fees went up, would the time or the profit trickle down? John Held explores the issues.

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President’s Comment – September 2021

10 September 2021

John Held writes on the topics of the day, including vaccination, ventilation and air quality, and the ACA’s joint advocacy around the National Registration Framework.

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President’s Comment – EOFY 20/21

28 June 2021

John Held reflects on the challenges of the past year and the ACA’s ongoing commitment to gain recognition, raise awareness and advocate to government and the wider community.

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ACA President’s Comment – May 2021

10 May 2021

New building legislation in NSW and proposed changes in Victoria will have wide-ranging impacts on the profession, and it’s critical that architects ask questions, give feedback and engage with government, says John Held.

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ACA President’s Comment – March 2021

30 March 2021

John Held takes a look at the issues of the day, from the Lacrosse appeal decision to the end of JobKeeper and the Mutual Recognition Amendment Bill.

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ACA Advocacy on Unfair Contracts

2 March 2021

We need to work together to advocate for improved contracts and procurement methodologies, says John Held.

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President’s Comment – February 2021

8 February 2021

On the 10th anniversary of Keith Neighbour’s passing, John Held fondly remembers his former mentor and friend, who was a strong advocate for mentoring, connection and support within the profession.

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ACA President’s Comment – December 2020

7 December 2020

John Held takes a moment to reflect on the lessons of 2020, from the nature of community to the value of communication, and the need to be prepared and open to change.

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ACA President’s Comment

27 September 2020

Better procurement practices will support building quality, but also healthier, safer work practices for a wide range of people in the construction industry, says John Held.

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ACA President’s Comment – July 2020

14 July 2020

ACA President John Held reflects on the need for a finer-grained approach to stimulus, and the importance of being active and assertive in creating a post-pandemic future.

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ACA President’s Comment – June 2020

9 June 2020

As we release the preliminary findings of our third Pulse Check Survey, John Held explores the key issues in the profession, from workflow to JobKeeper, from stimulus to flexibility and the future of work.

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The Power of Sharing Stories

21 April 2020

ACA National President John Held invites members to share their stories, views and impressions on how to create better places to live, work and be.

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ACA President’s Comment – March 2020

24 March 2020

As architectural practices face uncertain futures in the time of COVID-19, ACA National President John Held discusses the importance of sharing stories, ideas, and love and consideration for each other.

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ACA President’s Comment – February 2020

3 February 2020

As disaster strikes, John Held discusses the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences, and the broader role of the architect in society.

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When Will Architects Be in the Firing Line?

7 November 2019

Every day a new story hits the headlines outlining a case of workplace exploitation and underpayment. John Held ponders when architecture’s long hours culture will hit the front pages, and what the ACA can do to help ensure we have fair and efficient businesses.

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A Question of Standards

12 September 2019

With the high cost of accessing Australian Standards, how can we expect high levels of compliance in the building industry? Easy access to clear, understandable Standards must be a priority, argues John Held.

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How Can Architects Take Action?

3 September 2019

As governments tackle systemic issues in the building industry, John Held outlines some of the ways that architects can make an impact.

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What Keeps Architects Awake at Night?

9 July 2019

How do we ensure our profession remains relevant and vibrant? John Held draws threads through the many issues facing architecture and the construction industry, and asks how can we support each other as we face the future.

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ACA President's Comment – April 2019

28 April 2019

In light of the release of the Building Confidence Implementation Plan, ACA National President John Held revisits the recent history of regulation in the Australian construction industry and the challenge of timely reform and coordination between all states and territories.

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President's Report - April 2019

2 April 2019

National President John Held discusses long hours, unpaid internships and the value in getting involved.

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Welcome to 2019

19 January 2019

The year has begun with a focus on quality - and the lack of it. ACA President John Held considers what architects and the ACA can do to improve the quality of the built environment.

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Reflections from the ACA President

12 December 2018

ACA National President and SA branch President John Held reflects on the year's achievements and the challenges ahead.

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The ACA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land and waters of Australia.