SA Update - Events, Advocacy & Getting Involved

4 December 2019

In South Australia, 2019 was a year of events, advocacy and engagement with government and industry.


The ACA – SA committee has had a busy, successful year, with events and advocacy being particular highlights. The Keith Neighbour Graduate Study program continues to be a great ACA initiative for those about to sit their registration exams. We are also delighted to see the willingness of members to contribute to the debate, share their highs (and lows) and make a difference to both the profession and society. In 2019 it was pleasing to see the broadening of ACA’s appeal to both small and larger practices. 

4 - Business of Design Lunch

This year’s Business of Design lunch featured keynote speaker Kerstin Thompson.


The ACA – SA committee continued to run regular roundtable discussions through 2019, including one with builders on D&C and novation, and one with the Small Business Commissioner on what’s required to run a successful small business, and whether governments understand the complexities of architectural practice.

The Business of Design Lunch in August with Kerstin Thompson was a valuable lesson in how architects need to design their business as well as their practice. Kerstin also generously shared her insights in a follow-up article on the Business of Design. We are aiming to make this an unmissable annual event.

On 17 October, the Business of Small Practice series came to town, with SA’s first BoSP event with Kate Fitzgerald from Whispering Smith, a panel of three and a great turnout. There was a positive vibe in the room for more events like this for small business, and great ideas for future events.

Our latest Practice Managers Lunch on 13 November was presented by Anna Roussos from Anna Roussos Recruitment + Advisory about the value of happy, productive employees.

There was another great turnout at our recent President’s Christmas Drinks, held at NOLA in Adelaide. SA and National President John Held spoke to members about the value of getting involved with the ACA.

6 - Xmas Drinks

5 - Xmas Drinks 2

There was a full house at President’s Christmas Drinks at NOLA in late November.

Plans for 2020

Next year is already shaping up to be a great year of events and activity for the ACA – SA branch. On 13 February, we will host a Welcome Breakfast at Luigi’s Delicatessen at the new location in U City on Franklin Street in Adelaide. All are welcome to hear about the outcomes of the NEC meeting in Melbourne and the plans for the year ahead. Also in the works is a Planning and Development Code roundtable with DPTI in March 2020.


We are now at record numbers, with nine new members this year. Welcome to our new members for 2019!

  • Planbuild
  • Mountford Williamson Architecture
  • John Diekman Architects
  • Studio-Gram
  • BB Architects
  • AKA Architects
  • Damien McQuillan Architect
  • Black Rabbit Architecture + Interiors
  • DAS Architecture and Design Studio Pty Ltd


We have tried to engage with the wider industry, through the Construction Industry Forum, dialogue with the Master Builders Association and with direct contact with government. Much time has been spent on discussions around procurement – not always successfully – to try to ensure best practice for public projects.

We participated in an update of local implementation of the Shergold-Weir Building Confidence Report, and will return to this in the New Year. The ACA commented on the proposed legislation to introduce compulsory CPD for registered architects.

After concerted lobbying, the terms of the SA Productivity Commission’s inquiry were extended to include capital works. The Institute and ACA lodged a joint submission to the Commission.

Involvement with the ACA

At our Christmas drinks we asked what you can do for the profession – we’ve had interest already from that call. At our upcoming elections in March 2020, several long-standing members will be retiring from the committee, and it’s great to see interest from others who might take their place.


Thanks to SA’s state sponsor Anna Roussos Recruitment + Advisory, who will continue state sponsorship to 30 June 2020. Thanks also to the SA committee, and especially to Executive Officer Sascha Byrne who organises events with flair and with an eternally sunny disposition!

3 - Practice Managers Lunch

Anna Roussos spoke about the value of happy employees at a Practice Managers Lunch in November.