VIC/TAS 2021 – Industry engagement, advocacy, IR & mental wellbeing

9 December 2021

This year, the VIC/TAS Committee concentrated on advocacy to government, industry engagement, mental wellbeing and re-energising our support for Tasmanian members.

Despite the continued impact of the pandemic on some areas of Victoria and Tasmania, ACA VIC/TAS branch membership has continued to grow and we welcome our new members and thank our committed existing members for their support of the ACA.

Industry engagement & advocacy

An urgent focus for the VIC/TAS branch in 2021 was responding to the Victorian government’s ‘Framework for Reform – Modernising Victoria’s building system’, including its review of architectural registration. After extensive consultation with members, government officials, the Australian Institute of Architects, ArchiTeam and the Schools of Architecture, the ACA submitted its response in late May. You can download the full ACA Response to the Framework for Reform: Modernising Victoria’s Building System discussion paper here. We now stand ready to respond to the next stage of the reform process once released.

The branch has been active in engaging with industry and the government, such as the OVGA and new Registrar for the ARBV Dr Glenice Fox, the VBA, VECCI and the Tasmanian Department of Education.

Information & guidance

The VIC/TAS Committee has been active clarifying information regarding vaccinations and COVID restrictions for members via our legal advisor at Fair Work Lawyers and regular engagement with Victorian government coordinated meetings, with direct engagement with government ministers.

Tasmanian focus

We were delighted to hold the first of our Tasmanian member forums with a roundtable of engaged and experienced members. The challenge set for the year ahead is to re-energise our support for our Tasmanian members, representing their views in our advocacy and reviewing our member resources.

Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum

Online meetings continued for our AMWF VIC/TAS contingent as our group met regularly to share information and support, developing a great network. The group contributed to feedback on the AMWF Australia toolkit. Resources and practical ideas were also implemented successfully in member practices to support wellbeing both generally and in response to the extended restrictions and stress of COVID.

Architecture, Accounting and Administration Group (AAAG)

The VIC/TAS branch continued its involvement with the AAAG, and at the time of writing look forward to our first face to face meeting in two years with the Christmas lunch at The Duke on Thursday 9 December. The AAAG is a group for Accountants, Finance Managers, Practice Managers, HR Managers, Business Managers and General Managers of practices to share, collaborate and learn from each other. Attendance by the AIA Vic Chapter’s practice forum members has continued into 2021, providing a great opportunity for collaboration.

Guest speakers

President Paul Viney and committee member Kirby Roper have spoken at events for the Emerging Architects and Graduates Network (EMAGN) and Students Organised Network of Architecture (SONA). Paul has also presented to the Geelong + Surf Coast Regional Practice Forum. More recently, in November, Paul represented ACA National at the ACA Malaysia online International Conference, speaking on “Practice for Profit & Staying Competitive”.

University of Melbourne

Paul Viney, Daniel Haskell, Kirby Roper and George Theodoris from the VIC/TAS Committee have been actively involved with the University of Melbourne through Dr Peter Raisbeck in panel discussions and assessments of student business plans. The Committee plans to extend this relationship to the other architecture schools in the coming year.

Industrial Relations Committee

Changes to legislation around casual employment has been a focus for the IR committee in 2021, with the rollout of a Casual Employment Agreement Template for the Architects Award (templates soon to come for other relevant Awards in our industry).

The member-only Industrial Relations FAQ guide and regular updates and advice around vaccinations and other workplace issues has been made possible with the help of ACA National and the advice of Fair Work Lawyers.

The Resource Sharing System was relaunched earlier this year – infrastructure that may prove useful for the future.

Branch Committee

Our committee works to represent our members and we welcome your input. New members and observers are welcome to attend committee meetings as we value fresh perspectives and new contributions along with expert contributions of experienced committee members.

As with many workplaces and spaces, our committee meetings are now conducted in a hybrid mix of face to face and online, so please don’t let distance be a deterrent. With committee nominations coming up again next year, we welcome expressions of interest from members interested in assisting on the committee at any time. We would especially like to hear from members practising in Tasmania and regional Victoria. If interested, please contact Katherine Ygosse at to find out more and to arrange a chat with a current committee member.

National Cooperation

In the spirit of national cooperation, Victoria has been supporting NSW with respect to the new Building Practitioners legislation and has been able to utilise some of the information in its submission to Government on the proposed Victoria reforms.

Christmas Drinks

The ACA Vic/Tas Branch committee, members, national partners and special guests gathered last week to mark the end of the year with our first face to face event since the start of the pandemic. It was great to see the camaraderie and engagement, and the refreshed enthusiasm for the possibilities of events and projects to come in 2022.


Special thanks to Susie Ashworth, Michelle Eades, Emma Brain and Executive Officer Katherine Ygosse for the support they have given both the VIC/TAS branch and IR Committee to keep members informed and to bring our work and projects to fruition.

We would like to thank and acknowledge our existing committee members for their ongoing work and support of the ACA during the year, and especially for the many extra hours devoted to engaging with the government reform agenda.

  • Paul Viney (Director, FPPV) – President
  • Daniel Haskell (Director, Haskell Architects) – Vice President
  • David Wagner (Director, Atelier Wagner) – Secretary & IR Committee Chair
  • Matthew Tence (Business Manager, Silver Thomas Hanley) – Treasurer
  • Gary Edwards (Director, Health Facilities Consultant Architects)
  • Kel Greenway (Director, Greenway Hirst Page) – IR Committee
  • Richard Bryant (Director, Bryant Alsop Architects)
  • Kirby Roper (Kirby Architects)
  • George Theodoridis (Business Manager, Law Architects) – IR Committee
  • Robert Peake (Management for Design) – IR Committee

We thank you for your support of the ACA and wish all our members the best for Christmas and the New Year to come and look forward to serving your needs in 2022.