Regional Practice Working Group

8 December 2023

The ACA’s new Regional Practice Working Group (RPWG) aims to connect and support architectural practices in diverse geographical areas across the country. Here we provide a summary of the Group’s aims and a brief interview with the RPWG Chair Michel Greenhalgh about the key challenges of regional practice, what needs to change, and aspirations for the new working group.

The ACA Regional Practice Working Group was established in mid-2023, with representatives from all over Australia. The group’s purpose is to connect architectural practices in diverse geographical areas across the country and research the current issues, challenges and opportunities of running a regional practice. Key to that is identifying appropriate networking forums and exploring collaboration opportunities with like-minded organisations for a stronger, more cohesive voice. Ultimately, it’s about raising the profile and value of architects in regional areas, many of whom are currently facing skills shortages, high costs in doing business in their regions, material shortages, and a lack of regional accommodation.

The ACA is also running a series of interviews with regional member practices, located everywhere from northern Queensland (Counterpoint Architecture) and regional Victoria (Brad Hooper Architect) to Port Lincoln in South Australia (E+MQ Design) and remote lands in Western Australia (EKD Architects). We will  feature more fascinating stories in the new year as we continue to celebrate these regional practices.

Get in touch

The RAPWG is made up of the following members:

Michel Greenhalgh, WA
Mark Kennedy, QLD/NT
Brad Hooper, VIC/TAS
Agi Sterling, NSW/ACT

The working group is currently seeking expressions of interest from ACA member practices in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. If you would like to join our small, passionate team of regional architects to discuss advocacy, resources and shared challenges and opportunities, please get in touch.  

The ACA also welcomes input into the issues that matter to architects practising in the regions. If you have feedback on how the new regional working group can assist you and your business, please get in touch.


RPWG Chair – Michel Greenhalgh

The Chair of the ACA Regional Practice Working Group Michel Greenhalgh is based in Bunbury in Western Australia, and is passionate about assisting regional members with the challenges and opportunities of practice in the regions. Michel answered a few quick questions about the new group.

What are some of the key challenges of regional practice in 2023?

  • Professional staff attraction
  • Cost of retaining staff
  • Lack of affordable accommodation – a nationwide problem
  • Access to face-to-face CPD and industry events
  • Professional interaction with colleagues – distance, time and cost
  • Commanding fair fees for service – Client base less inclined to pay for quality
  • Cost and distance of servicing projects

Why is the Regional Working Group important and what are your aspirations for the group?

The Group is so important in building support and camaraderie among architects flying solo in the regions. The Group could bring the full force of the ACA’s metro-based resources and services into the regions with minimal effort. I think the Group should aspire to be the “go to” people for regional members to direct them towards help and to build a sense of togetherness.

What are some of the changes you’d like to see happen in the regions for architects?

  • We need to build the ‘Value of Architects’
  • Government support for training – taking on younger architects with financial support from the BCF (Building Construction Training Fund)