WA Branch Update – December 2023
The WA branch committee finished off a busy year with an end-of-year celebration at Lawson Flats. It was great to see so many of our members, sponsors and industry colleagues at our event. It feels like the festive season is well and truly here! Here’s a snapshot of what the WA branch committee has been up to in 2023.
Our ability to influence policy and advocate for our profession continues to grow. We have focused on building connections with State Government, particularly in response to the Medium Density Code. ACA Vice-President, Kate Fitzgerald has led our advocacy on this topic, participating in industry roundtables with Minister Carey. Our message to Government is clear: architects are key to helping solve the housing crisis through the provision of smart density.
We were pleased to see that the State Government’s Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2023 was tabled in Parliament recently. The ACA has been advocating for more streamlined approval processes and we believe these reforms are a good outcome for business. We will continue to argue this reform should be accompanied by a commitment to improving design skills in planning. Improved efficiency of approvals and project feasibility can only be achieved when architectural expertise and leadership is embraced at State and Local Government level.
Committee members Michel Greenhalgh and Kali Passmore are working with WALGA to provide input to their panel processes and contracting arrangements for procuring architectural services.
Together with our colleagues at the AIA, AILA, PIA, UDIA, Engineers Australia and the Property Council, we have joined the Built Environment Reference Group to discuss issues relevant to the broader industry. Recent topics include Design Review, Medium Density, Planning Policy, National Registration Framework, tree canopies and density. Our meetings are robust and there are many areas of alignment where we see value in coordinating our advocacy efforts.
The National Registration Framework remains on our agenda. Committee Member Emily Van Eyk is leading this topic, and working to ensure that the integrity of registration quality is preserved and not detrimentally impacted by any new legislation.
We are building a relationship with the Department of Mining, Industry and Resources, who have started to present regular online information sessions on important topics related to the profession. The first was balustrade design and the second will be on the role of the Building Surveyor. These topics represent the ‘nuts and bolts’ of our profession and are available through our CPD on Demand portal.
Connection is incredibly important to the ACA and our committee works hard to provide enjoyable opportunities for networking, support and exchange. Our annual calendar pivots around three key events: a new year breakfast, mid-year lunch and end of year drinks.
This year we invited signatory to the Uluru Statement, Nolan Hunter, to speak to our members about the Voice to Parliament, and while the referendum was not successful, we will continue to assist members to increase their understanding of First Nations history and cultural practice, and to meet the new national competencies around First Nations engagement.
Our regional members are very important to us. WA committee member, Michel Greenhalgh, is Chair of the ACA Regional Practice Working Group and brings an understanding of the business challenges, opportunities, and perspectives for regional practitioners. We have committed to holding an event in the regions in 2024!
PLANS FOR 2024
Next year is shaping up to be busy. We’ve sketched a calendar of events, starting with our annual breakfast in February; a webinar with Jackson McDonald on Joint Ventures (thank you to H+H Architects for suggesting this topic); a research project on the Value of Architecture; and an appearance at Perth Design Week.
But more than anything, we want to hear from you. We have put together a quick survey to help us set our priorities for 2024. Feedback is essential and we ask you to complete it now.
We are also launching an Expression of Interest for two new committee members to join our Western Australian branch. Reach out if you’d like to know more.
Lastly, we couldn’t do the work that we do without the generous support of our Branch Sponsors. Thank you to:
We wish our members a safe and restful festive break and look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Kukame McPierzie, President (Woods Bagot)
Kate Fitzgerald, Vice-President (Whispering Smith)
Janine Marsh, Treasurer (Doepel Marsh)
Kali Passmore, Secretary (Gresley Abas)
Felice Burrows, Sponsorship (Architects&Co)
Michel Greenhalgh, Regional Practice Working Group (MCG Architects)
David Gulland, Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum (Hassell)
Malcolm Jones (Meyer Shircore)
Andrew Rogerson (COX)
Emily Van Eyk, University Engagement Working Group (Mt Eyk)
Emma Brain, Executive Officer, RAP Working Group
The Committee values input and feedback and encourages all ACA members in Western Australia to take our 2024 Survey.