WA 2016 Update

Kieran Wong , 15 December 2016

It has been another busy year for the ACA in WA. President Kieran Wong gives an overview in his speech from the 2016 President’s Cocktail Party.

I’d like to thank our sponsors, James Hardie for their ongoing support and look forward to continuing the relationship in 2017 (and beyond!) I am also pleased to announce that the ACA has secured two national corporate sponsors – Planned Cover and Cbus. We look forward to both organisations providing our members with important and timely advice on matters relating to risk and superannuation in 2017.

2016 has been a busy and fulfilling year for the ACA in WA. We have been involved the national ACA’s efforts on great updates and new tools for the ACA website’s Business Toolbox. Items such as the Salary Calculator and Time/Cost Calculation Guide, along with notes on HR, industrial law, practice and contract advice, subconsultant agreements and opinion pieces on fees, practice, engagement and risk. The ACA website simply gets better and better each month, with a continuous feed of up to date information on practice and the Business of Architecture.

Our membership survey on design review processes, DAP/DAC Panel Discussion and subsequent response and position paper on Development Assessment Panels and Design Review Panels was directly conveyed to the planning minister, the Hon Donna Faragher. Much of our recommendations were endorsed, supported or actioned by the Minister, and we welcome that the improvement of the DAP system, and recent clarifications on the roles and obligations of Design review

Our Vice President, Greg Howlett has been campaigning tirelessly for a very long time with BMW to remove the requirement of the lead architectural consultant engaging the sub-consultant team directly. BMW have indicated that they will begin trialing direct engagement of secondary consultants on upcoming projects, and the ACA WA welcomes this as a maturing of government procurement practice.

On the topic of procurement, the ACA – WA is in the final stages of finalizing a Best Practice Procurement Guide, intended as a resource and model for local and state governments and corporate clients. Our members report ever increasing elements of unfair contracting and poor procurement processes such as a heavy reliance on fee weighted tendering. I look forward to launching the guide in 2017, and advocating widely for its adoption as a model for client procurement.

Our members have been engaged socially as well, with several member’s luncheons in the city, wine and cheese nights and co-hosting the Annual ACA – WA Consult Australia Roundtable Lunch between Perth’s major architectural, engineering, project management and client representatives. This year the luncheon topic was on the Disruption of Practice, and a stimulating and engaging conversation was well facilitated by Greg Howlett.

Our voice and profile has been on the increase as well, with a number of opinion pieces and interviews in the West Australian Property Section advocating for our members position on a range of topics throughout the year.

An interview with Phil Griffiths of the Institute in the recent issue of The Architect magazine also outlines a positive approach to collaboration between the two groups, with an ever-increasing need by both membership groups to access up-to-date notes on practice and information that is being now supplied through the ACA website. Given the Institute’s key “pillars” of education, membership and advocacy, the role of practice and the Business of Architecture is an area where the ACA’s core strengths and focus is very complementary to the Institute’s and we look forward to working closely together again in 2017.

I want to thank the ACA committee, Greg Howlett (COX), Nic MacCormac (COX), Dean Wood (Oldfield Knott) , Malcolm Jones (Meyer Shircore), Janine Marsh (Doepel Marsh), Leigh Robinson (Taylor Robinson) and Peter Hodge (Hodge Collard). The committee meet monthly, and work continuously on advocacy, membership engagement, sponsorship and event planning. Given the calibre and level of our committee this is a very generous and positive commitment by each of them to the improvement of all our practices.

I also want to thank our dedicated and indefatigable Administrative Officer, Theo Gaunt. Always making sure the committee and our events keep on track, her enthusiasm is always welcome.

I am always keen to engage with our membership, to find out what matters most to you, and how the ACA can tailor our services and tools for your practices. Feel free to contact me at any time…

On behalf of the ACA WA Committee we wish all our members a safe and happy Christmas break and new year. I look forward to working with all our members in 2017 to advance the Business of Architecture.

Kieran Wong RAIA