WA Branch Update – March 2021

9 March 2021

It’s been a huge start to the year for the WA branch with two functions, an influx of new members and one new sponsor joining our community. Here’s a rundown of where we are at and where we are headed in 2021.


The ACA in WA continues to grow from strength to strength. We now have 72 member practices, ranging in scale from sole practitioners through to multi-national studios. We are thrilled that our regional membership continues to grow and will be looking for new ways in which to support and engage with this important cohort.


Thank you to our members who took the time to complete our recent survey. We had 27 responses from member practices and the information received will help inform where we put our energy over the coming year. We were delighted to discover that 85% of respondents were ‘somewhat/very/extremely confident’ about their business over the next 12 months.

You can read the results of our survey here.


We welcome Armstrong Flooring as a new sponsor of the ACA in Western Australia!

We couldn’t do our work without the generous support of this group of committed corporate partners – Rondo, Armstrong Ceilings, Armstrong Flooring, Unios and Bluechip.

Events + Advocacy

Last week’s launch of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum was one of the most engaging and meaningful events that we have hosted. An intimate group furiously took notes as they listened to Brian Clohessy share the improvements made at BVN to improve office culture and the wellbeing of staff. We encourage everyone who was not able to attend to view a recording of an earlier presentation of Brian’s here.

Former ACA Committee member and Senior Architect at Coniglio Ainsworth, Michael Gay gave a thoughtful account of his experience of mental wellbeing while navigating a career in architecture. Michael reiterated the important role that business owners and leaders play in creating positive work environments, and the flow on effect this has on staff retention and productivity. We hope that the AMWF will meet regularly (as is the case in other states) and will be in touch about future events.

Next on the calendar is one of our most ambitious events yet – a symposium on the revised Design WA Medium Density Policy, to be delivered as part of Open House’s Design Matters series. The event is to be held at the WA Museum Boola Bardip on 31 March and will feature input from government as well as the viewpoint of practising architects. Stay tuned for more info and your invite soon!

We’ll finish with this thought-provoking soundbite from ACA Committee Member, Kate Fitzgerald, extracted from an interview in the Jan/Feb 2021 in Architecture Australia.

“One hundred percent – entrepreneurial skills should be taught as part of the (architectural) curriculum! I finished my university degree in 2010, which was just after the 2008/2009 fallout. Many of my friends were handing out 40 or 50 resumes trying to get work… I started a social enterprise with some friends and got to see the startup culture and that entire industry. We don’t hear anything about that in architecture. We talk a lot about getting jobs, but we don’t talk a lot about the next wave of directors coming through that we should be identifying early on.”