President’s Comment – December 2023
Being involved with the ACA is rewarding because there is a clarity of purpose in our strategic plan relating to the Business of Architecture. We can clearly leave some issues to other organisations, but that doesn’t mean we only need to cover ourselves with Industrial Relations and the nuts and bolts of profitable practice. Being involved in any successful business is far more than that – the wellbeing of a practice is dependent on the wellbeing of staff, the wellbeing of business planning and marketing, and the design of the practice itself. There are so many ways architects can use their training and skills, and it’s a delight to read the profiles of different architects on the ACA website to see the diversity of member practices.
The ACA is also not just focused on the owners and directors of practices, although this is important. Many of our activities involve wider cohorts – from students and graduates to those wishing to start new practices or take leadership roles in existing firms. From programs such as BoSP (the Business of Small Practice) and the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum through to the ACA toolbox, Architects Award rates and conditions, and employment contracts, the range of topics managers must keep on top of is vast.
The range of ACA resources and advocacy efforts are growing. We are careful to commit to practical and achievable goals, but we need to hear from you about resources you need, and changes in policy and practice that take many unified voices rather than individual voices that may not be heard. We also need to realise that advocating for better student outcomes, fair internship opportunities, more opportunities for business education for students and graduates, and clearer paths to registration and beyond are part of ACA’s core undertaking. Only then will our mission be accomplished.