SA Update 2022

7 December 2022

Advocacy, mental wellbeing and culture have been a strong focus for the SA Branch Committee in 2022, with highlights including the return of BoSP, the annual Business of Design Lunch and the first AMWF Toolkit event.


ACA SA has been involved in several different advocacy areas. These include:

Expert Panel Review of the Planning System

The ACA was invited to submit and present to the Expert Panel as part of their review of the planning system reforms under the 2016 ACT and the Planning and Design Code. The committee engaged with AIA, ODASA and membership in the formation of submission which was lodged and presented to the expert panel.


The ACA as continued representation at an informal quarterly engagement with the Architects Board, ODASA and AIA to share industry knowledge and points for discussion. Current topics include reciprocal rights for architects both nationally and internationally, how to encourage greater architectural representation on CAP panels and opportunities to engage with the new minister.

The Construction Culture Initiative

The CCI group has continued to meet regularly, with valuable information being collected from a range of members of the Architecture and Construction professions, from younger members to those more seasoned, at a range of breakfasts, and other activities. Current topics of discussion include the need to seek clarity on forward direction for the group, as well as the collection of cross discipline data to inform future meetings with policy makers and clients. The CCI is gaining real momentum and forming a strong collaborative group to target key issues facing all of us.

The DIT Commercial Construction Industry Forum

This group provides a forum for contractors, subcontracts and consultants to liaise with key members of the Department for Infrastructure and Transport. Recent topics include:

  • Discussions on future tender program – noted the preponderance of upcoming health projects
  • Guidelines for Cascading consultancies – architects and engineers are meeting to try to finalise these guidelines for appointment of Lead PSCs and their subconsultants
  • Sustainable Government Building Requirements leading to 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050
  • DIT Quality Standards Handbook – update on proposed consolidated handbook of standards
  • Building Projects Code of Practice – a working group has been revising and updating the current Code of Practice
  • Contract review – including a request from ACA to update AS4122 to the 2010 version
  • Cost of Australian Standards – ongoing discussions
  • BIM – to be discussed at a future meeting

ACA finds this forum useful and is always looking for feedback from members. We are also having separate discussions with other consulting groups on issues relating to realistic and consistent commercial terms for consultants working for DIT.


The second half of 2022 continued to deliver events relevant to the times we live in. First up was our July lunch presentation on Cyber Extortion – How to Reduce Risk. Cos Cirocco from Planned Cover and Richard Smith from Blue Zebra Insurance led an interesting conversation tackling the timely topic of cybercrime and how to reduce risk.

On 18 August, the SA Committee was delighted to host the fourth annual Business of Design lunch with guest speakers Lindsay and Kerry Clare. The event followed the pattern of previous years – an attentive crowd, speakers who discussed architectural practice and their business rather than design, and a view of the South Parklands in the pouring rain.

Lindsay and Kerry Clare came from the sunny Gold Coast to talk about their careers, which seemed to neatly divide into decades, from small practice to the NSW Government Architects Office, to Architectus and then back to just the two of them. Their underlying principles shone through and generated many questions and a lively discussion. See the event recap for more detail, including a number of reflections from attendees.

Our final event of the year, the annual President’s Christmas Drinks, was held at The Gilbert Hotel on Tuesday 29 November. Once again, we had a great turn out. John Held, Branch and National President, thanked our members and sponsors for their support throughout 2022.

Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum

In October we offered members the chance to attend the St John’s Mental Health First Aid Course at a reduced cost. While we had a smaller group than last year, participants have reported that it was interesting and informative. The knowledgeable presenter delivered an educational and engaging course, despite the heavy subject matter.  The presentation provided advice/processes for when mental health red-flags arise both in the workplace and in general life. We would recommend the course to anyone who is looking to expand their awareness, tools and understanding to be able to help their team find assistance coping with stress, anxiety and depression.

Nationally, the AMWF team held the first in a series of events – Wellbeing & The Physical Office Environment on Monday 28 November. The SA Committee helped to coordinate the first online session, with SA Executive Officer and AMWF Coordinator Sascha Byrne organising and keeping everything on track, Committee member Simon Frost assisting as co-facilitator, and speakers James Dujmovic from JPE Studio and Jock Lovell from Brown Falconer sharing knowledge and experiences.

Keith Neighbour Study Group Program (KNSG)

The KNSG provides a forum and study group for architectural graduates as they prepare for their registration exams. It has been progressing well and growing in numbers each time it is run. With over 30 regular attendees at the last round, it is a valuable tool in South Australia for the younger members of the profession to build their skills, knowledge and confidence as they progress towards their Registration. It remains the envy of other states, who are looking at creating similar programs. The next round will commence early in 2023.


The SA Committee would like to thank the organisations who have supported us through 2022. ROUSSOS Recruitment supported the ACA SA once again this year, and we would like to thank the team for their continued support and enthusiasm for the architecture profession. ROUSSOS is the leading recruitment partner in SA servicing the architecture industry and continually getting involved in industry events and initiatives run by the ACA SA team. We are thrilled to announce that ROUSSOS will continue to partner with us in 2023.

Chris Tan Consulting has been sponsoring the Keith Neighbour Study Group Program for the past seven years and we would like to thank Chris for his involvement and support of this unique and valuable program.

Viewlistic sponsored and supported the return of BoSP in May and we thank Joe Keogh for travelling to SA to speak and talk with members.

Polyflor supported our St John’s Mental Health First Aid Course in October and we thank Levi Skliwa and the team.

Photos: bash_image and Sascha Byrne