NSW/ACT 2022 Update

8 December 2022

It’s been another busy and challenging year for all in the architectural community. The NSW/ACT Branch Committee has continued working hard to deliver informative CPD presentations and networking opportunities as well as useful resources to the membership.

Membership in NSW and the ACT has been steady, with 254 firms representing 1832 technical staff.  This number continues to grow on a weekly basis.

Following the Committee elections this year, we have a new President and Vice President. The new NSW/ACT President is Ivana Simkovic (Studio Director at dwp) and our new Vice President is Farhad Edibam (Business group Leader with GHDWoodhead ACT).

  • Ivana Simkovic
  • Farhad Edibam

NSW Practice Management Awards

This year, the NSW/ACT Committee was proud to present two students in the Architecture course at the University of Western Sydney with a prize for outstanding work in units related to Practice Management. ACA NSW/ACT Committee member, Harry Hamor described the importance of developing practice management skills while at university: “The profession of architecture is much more than design, and demands expertise in financial management, HR, marketing and more. This award highlights the significance of those skills amongst architecture students.” For more information, see the Awards article.


The NSW/ACT Branch continues to organise and present relevant CPD events for our members. In the second half of the year we have hosted two face to face presentations in the ACT. The first was a catch-up and CPD event in Canberra, with an informative presentation from Ardex and a chance to meet and connect. Attendees included representatives from the ACA – CEO Angelina Pillai, NSW/ACT President Ivana Simkovic, NSW/ACT Vice President Farhad Edibam, and outgoing NSW/ACT President Agi Sterling. We also welcomed current Australian Institute of Architects ACT President Jane Cassidy and recent past ACT President, Melinda Dodson. We were also delighted to meet many members from NSW and the ACT.

The second ACT presentation featured Noam Maitless, Design Director of GHDWoodhead, who presented on opportunities in the “missing middle” space for housing and the future development of Canberra as a more liveable and equitable city.

The branch also assists regional members with online CPD presentations via Zoom. In the last six months these have included “Bushfire Resilience” with Nigel Bell; “D&BP Act 12 months on”, presented by Jonathan Lynch; and “High performance Thermal systems” with Jesse Clarke from ProClima.

Our last CPD event of the year and Christmas celebratory drinks was on 8 December, with a further presentation by our sponsors Ardex.

Agi Sterling Thank you!

The NSW/ACT Branch committee would like to express our extreme gratitude to our outgoing President Agi Sterling.  It is Agi’s tireless and unceasing support of the profession and enthusiasm for the further development of the ACA that has seen the branch go from strength to strength, with both membership and reach growing throughout her time as President.

Agi’s behind the scenes advocacy, collaboration and negotiation with the Institute, and state government agencies, combined with an ability to get stuff done, has resulted in many projects and presentations for the benefit of ACA members. There is no better demonstration of this than during the introduction of the NSW D&BP Act, when Agi pushed, negotiated and worked with many of the industry players on behalf of the ACA members and the architectural community generally (see group pic below). The NSW/ACT Branch has been very fortunate to have someone of Agi’s drive and calibre as its President for the last five years. Thank you Agi.


Congratulations to NSW/ACT President Ivana Simkovic and the team at dwp for their recent awards for the Eric Tweedale Stadium in Sydney. Ivana has recently travelled to Bilbao in Spain for the Architecture Masterprize and to Lisbon to present the project at the World Architecture Festival, where the project is a finalist in two categories – Sport Architecture and the Timber Prize.

The design of the Eric Tweedale Stadium is driven by the stadium’s connection to the local environment and history of the Cumberland Plains. Located within Granville Park, once a widely forested area, its form and materiality responds to the site’s heritage and creates a connection to its current sporting environment. The Stadium includes a grandstand with change rooms, multipurpose room, first-floor function space, commercial kitchen and outdoor viewing deck. The glulam roof cantilevers over eight metres over the seating, creating a simple yet impactful and beautiful form that also gives historical reference to the forest that once dominated the site.

Plans for 2023

Members of the NSW/ACT branch have been negotiating with the founders of the new buildingtools.co app for a special deal for members. The app seeks to improve building practices by summarising the NCC and Australian Standards as well as best practice construction methods into simple, interactive graphics. Final details are being worked out for the ACA member deal. Stay tuned.

The successful BoSP (Business of Small Practice) program makes its way east in early 2023 with the first of hopefully many interesting presentations being made over the next year. Planning is already well underway.

We also have pencilled in presentations from David Bannerman of Bannerman Lawyers on the design, certification and registration of the D&BP Act as well as a presentation from Dr Melinda Dobson on the Canberra Low Carbon Housing Challenge.

We would like to thank all of our Committee of Management for their continued commitment and support. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and look forward to the challenges that 2023 may bring.