WA Update – Advocate, Connect & Inform
The WA Committee outlines activity and priorities for the last six months and plans for the year ahead, with a strong focus on quality information, advocacy and connection.
Last week the WA Committee held an extended meeting to reflect on the past year and plan for the next. Despite the challenges of the past 12 months, the mood in the room was overwhelmingly positive. We will end this financial year with a record 76 members, representing 554 professionals, with practices ranging from small practitioners to medium-sized and large-scale multinational studios. Our committee reflects the diversity of our membership, meaning that we can plan relevant, engaging events and activities. Our committee members are:
- President, Kukame McPierzie (representing Woods Bagot)
- Vice President, Kate Fitzgerald (representing Whispering Smith)
- Treasurer, Janine Marsh (representing Doepel Marsh)
- Secretary, Kali Passmore (representing Gresley Abas)
- Malcolm Jones (representing Meyer Shircore)
- David Gulland (representing Hassell)
- Michel Greenhalgh (representing MCG Architects)
- Andrew Rogerson (representing COX Architecture)
- Emily Van Eyk (representing Mt Eyk)
- Felice Burrows (representing NORDA + Architects & Co)
- Emma Brain, Executive Officer
Our committee has established a program of activities to augment the ACA’s national program of webinars, tools and advocacy by pursuing issues relevant to practitioners and businesses in Western Australia. Here is an overview of recent achievements and plans for the year ahead.
Our Medium Density Symposium was attended by over 260 guests and highlighted the importance of placing architects at the centre of the conversation about the built environment in Western Australia. This event increased the profile of the ACA outside our typical remit and opened the door to meetings with representatives from Government.
In May, Janine and Kate met with the Hon. Jessica Stojkovski MLA, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport, Planning and Ports; and Emma De Jager, Principal Policy Adviser to Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA, Minister for Transport, Planning and Ports. In a one-hour conversation, Kate and Janine emphasised that the role of the ACA is to convey the benefit of involving architectural business in the development of built environment policy.
In August, Kukame, Kate and Janine will continue the conversation with the Hon. John Carey MLA, recently appointed Minister for Housing and Local Government. We will let you know the outcome of that meeting in our next member’s update.
We always encourage members to get in touch with any issues you would like us to pursue with Government.
Our annual program pivots around three social events – our Welcome Breakfast in February, Business of Design Lunch in July, and End of Year Rooftop Drinks in November. Each event provides an opportunity for you to connect with friends in the profession at a great new venue. These events also provide an opportunity to enjoy the company of our sponsors and invited special guests.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the Perth and Peel regions had gone into a four-day lockdown, so our Business of Design Lunch with creative developer Adrian Fini, originally slated for 2 July, needed to be postponed. We will have more information for you on a new date as it comes to hand.
In March, the WA Committee was delighted to launch the WA Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum at the Hassell Studio. An intimate group furiously took notes as they listened to Angelina Pillai introduce the origins of the AMWF in Australia, and Brian Clohessy share the improvements made at BVN to improve office culture and the wellbeing of staff. 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. The WA Committee is pleased to support the forum as part of our commitment to enhancing architectural work environments across Australia. AMWF will continue to work at a national and a local level to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental wellbeing in practice and to work on providing resources and support.
Our next event after the Business of Design lunch will be Mental Health First Aid Training with St John’s WA. The one-day course will enable practice directors and senior staff to better support staff experiencing mental health issues. We are passionate advocates for improving mental wellbeing in practice and will contribute to the cost of each ticket purchased for this course. More information to come!
Our committee member, Michel Greenhalgh is based in Bunbury and will focus his attention on building the ACA community in our regions. We plan to program events or activities that speak to the issues faced by our regional members. If you are a regional member, Michel will be in contact soon.
The pandemic has demonstrated the potential of our webinar program, and we will continue to support our national team with programming these events. Last year the WA Committee contributed to a successful online BoSP with bookkeeping firm Counting Clouds, a session on leadership training with Integral and the recent session on Reconciliation Action Plans. We are in the process of putting together another online BoSP on the always topical subject of fees. Stay tuned for this.
Our face-to-face events will respond to government policy and the critical issues facing architects working in Western Australia.
Finally, thank you to our outstanding sponsors who continue to assist us in the delivery of affordable events for our members. They are: RONDO, Armstrong Ceilings, Armstrong Floorings, Bluechip, Lysaght and Unios.