QLD/NT Recap – Learn, Change & Adapt

Gilda Donegan , 25 June 2021

QLD/NT President Gilda Donegan provides a recap of the first six months of 2021, a period where the key themes were to learn, change and adapt!

The year kicked off with gusto!

In Queensland and the Northern Territory, we have been able to maintain strong connections with our members and corporate partners, which has provided great insight to understanding the local, regional, national and global economic impact.


  • The Former CEO of the AACA, Kate Doyle, spoke at a Lunch Forum on the AACA’s focus of finalising the review of the National Standard of Competency for Architects and the importance of delivering high quality, nationally consistent assessment programs on the path to registration in Australia (see photo above: Denis Waring, Charmaine Kai, Ian Hamilton, Kate Doyle and Gilda Donegan). At the AACA lunch, member practices were invited to present their recently registered architects (see photo below: Glen Millar, Natalie Bush, Tersius Maass, Brett Hudson, Georgia Stevenson, Victoria Goh, Carolynne Napier, Gilda Donegan, Isaac Vincent, Hayden Lo, Kaitlin Sells, David Frost, Chloe Roehrig and Carl Brooks).
  • The Member’s Dinner and Trivia Night was attended by a record number and the Deep Knowledge Award Winner 2021 was Reddog Architects!
  • Strong connections have been maintained with the Queensland Government Architect, AIA and Board of Architects Queensland and other industry representatives on a regular basis to discuss a range of issues that impact our profession.
  • The Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum has now been established for over 12 months and has gained momentum thanks to the enthusiasm of the Forum Group chaired by Justine Ebzery from Fulton Trotter Architects.
  • Learning from last year, we have adapted the programs to include ‘in person’ events and more CPD webinars enabling regional members more opportunities to engage in the program.
  • At the AACA lunch, member practices presented their recently registered architects.


From January to June 2021, we have had face-to-face activities including the trivia night, lunch forums and a site tour, coupled with a series of webinars enabling us to reach members throughout Queensland, Northern Territory and nationally. The program has included:

  • 1 x Member’s Dinner and Trivia Night
  • 1 x Site Tour – Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s new Science Learning Centre
  • 2 x Lunch Forums – Bridging the Gaps in Graduate Knowledge and Skill presented by Kate Doyle, Former CEO of Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA); and NCC Update for Architects presented by Michael Moran of Philip Chun.
  • 4 x Webinars – Know Your Award Update, Section J in Action, Managing Corrosion in Metal Roofing and Cladding Products, and AS1428.1 – Deciphering the Standards.
  • 3 x Architect’s Mental Wellbeing Forums – included presentations on Domestic and Family Violence, a panel of speakers on Employee Assistance Programs, and the Champions of Change Coalition.
  • Site Tour – Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s new Science Learning Centre


Raising the standing of the architectural profession in the broader community is an ongoing priority. Key issues include:

  • Procurement
  • BAFO
  • National Registration Framework
  • Risk allocation

We have representation on various committees, including: the Office of the Queensland Government Architect (Gilda Donegan and Robert Wesener), the AACA Expert Reference Group (Charmaine Kai), the AACA Pathway to Registration Project (Denis Waring) and the ACIF / APCC Allocation of Risk Working Party (Gilda Donegan and Robert Wesener).

  • Charmaine Kai and Denis Waring - Collaborating on Education

Corporate Partners

Working together with our Corporate Partners has enabled the ACA to continue to provide a broad range of activities and services for our members. We greatly appreciate their ongoing support and expertise. The Corporate Partners value opportunities to provide support through general enquiries and their ‘in-house’ CPD programs to upskill staff.

  • Ardex Australia
  • Ashburner Francis
  • ASSA Abloy
  • GWA Bathrooms & Kitchens
  • Interface
  • James Hardie
  • Kennedy’s Timbers
  • Stokes Wheeler
  • Stramit


As this is my first newsletter as Branch President, I look forward to extending the great work of my predecessors. During my term as President, we look to embrace the regional areas of Queensland and the Northern Territory, extending our engagement, growing the membership and collaborating to strengthen the profession.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank past President Robert Wesener for his leadership, dedication and commitment to the QLD/NT Branch and for his contribution on the ACA National Executive Committee as the QLD/NT President and National Treasurer. I appreciate Robert’s continuing support for me in this new role and am grateful he has offered to remain on the Committee.

I look forward to working with my fellow Committee Members to achieve our goals for the next term.

  • David Brian – Vice-President/Events – dwp
  • Carl Brooks – Sponsorship/Events – ABM Architects
  • David Frost – Industrial Relations – Cottee Parker
  • Kerri May – Membership – Bickerton Masters Architecture
  • Steven Huntingford – NT Representative – Huntingford Architecture
  • Charmaine Kai – Treasurer/Education – 8i Architects
  • Brett Hudson – AMWF – Peddle Thorp
  • Denis Waring – Secretary/Education – PW Architecture
  • Robert Wesener – Immediate Past President – Fulton Trotter Architects
  • Mark Williams – Salary Survey – Mark Williams Architects

Membership in the Queensland and Northern Territory Branch is now at 120 members. We thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to your involvement in the year ahead.

Finally, if you have any issues or topics you would like the ACA to address, please contact Louise Street at qld@aca.org.au.

Gilda Donegan
President, ACA QLD/NT Branch