WA Update – June 2023
Advocacy has been a strong focus for the ACA WA Committee in 2023, with important work on the NRF and participation in the new Building Environment Reference Group. Activities have also included the development of a RAP, new resources and local events.
Thank you to our members who continue to grow in number and drive us to pursue better conditions for our profession. The ACA Committee members come from practices of all sizes and each person brings unique skills and interests to our meetings.
The 2023 WA Committee is:
- President: Kukame McPierzie, Woods Bagot
- Vice-President: Kate Fitzgerald, Whispering Smith
- Treasurer: Janine Marsh, Doepel Marsh
- Secretary: Kali Passmore, Gresley Abas
- Felice Burrows, Architects&Co
- Michel Greenhalgh, MCG Architects (representing regional practice)
- David Gulland, Hassell
- Malcolm Jones, Meyer Shircore
- Andrew Rogerson, COX
- Emily Van Eyk, Mt Eyk
- Executive Officer: Emma Brain
We are delighted to end the financial year with 90 member practices, representing 665 staff. We are committed to providing relevant tools, resources and information to support our membership. Our fastest growing cohort remains small practice and, at the same time, we are steadily attracting large practices too. Committee member Kali Passmore has been analysing our membership data to gain insights behind our growth. This analysis will help us plan our events and develop our program of resources for our members. If you would like to get in touch about membership, please reach out.
National Registration Framework
Our efforts around the NRF are being led by committee member, Emily Van Eyk. We have spoken with government who assure us that, from their perspective, the process is in its infancy, and that we will be consulted in due course. Regardless, we are pursuing our own agenda to ensure that the legitimacy of the profession is maintained in any new legislation.
We are not working alone. Engineers Australia have been very generous in sharing insights into the registration process they went through previously, while our colleagues at the Australian Institute of Architects are keen to join forces as well. We will be speaking to our contacts in government to find out if any of the timelines have changed because of the recent cabinet re-shuffle. We’ll keep you updated.
Building Environment Reference Group (aka the BERG)
We are pleased to join forces with our colleagues at the AIA, UDIA, Property Council, PIA, AILA and Engineers Australia to advocate for better built environments in WA. The BERG meets monthly to discuss how to influence government on issues that matter to us all. Our impact is already being felt in the Town of Cambridge at least, where we made the front page of The Post with our response to the Council’s attempted ban on contact between council staff and developers.
Local Government Procurement
This is an ongoing issue for our members. We have formed a sub-committee to revisit some of the work we have previously completed on this topic, including procurement processes; the implications on design quality because of these processes; and recommended strategies to enable good design. The ACA will be advocating for government to show leadership in this area. We are looking to present at the WALGA Conference to make our case known at a local government level, and we are seeking support from key agencies such as the Office of Government Architect to drive healthier procurement processes across the state.
The ACA is in the final stages of having our first RAP endorsed by Reconciliation Australia. Whilst this is a national initiative, the WA committee is proud to have provided the resources to make this project happen. WA EO Emma Brain led the development of the RAP with input from the national team and an artwork by a First Nations artist from the Juluwarlu Group Aboriginal Corporation in Roebourne, WA.
Safety in Design
In May, we released our new Safety in Design Report template and Safety in Design Hazard Identification Checklist and Register in accordance with the updated Work Health and Safety Regulation 2022. Both documents are available for download by ACA members. To help us understand the changes and how they apply in practice, expert IR lawyer, Greg Smith from Jackson MacDonald took us through the templates in a webinar available on demand.
We are delighted that our membership extends from Kununurra to Albany, with a large cluster in the south-west. Bunbury-based Committee member Michel Greenhalgh is in the process of establishing a regular forum to build community amongst our regional members. The forum will complement our national commitment to developing resources and advocacy to support the unique needs of the regions. The focus will always be on practices based in our regional towns and communities, not just working in the regions.
Business of Design Lunch
Our annual lunch was particularly special this year as we were joined by Nolan Hunter, a Bardi man, Head of Engagement at the Uluru Dialogues and a signatory to the Uluru Statement of the Heart. Nolan made a meaningful case for voting YES at the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament. He challenged us to get informed, engage in conversation and consider our legacy as we move towards voting day.
Mark 24 November in your diary for our EOY drinks! We’ve booked the bar at Lawson’s Flats, and we promise it is going to be fun.
Lastly, we are always grateful when we hear from our members about the issues that matter to you. Our plans going forward include another BoSP, sessions on Joint Ventures and Social Responsibility and more. Let us know if there’s something you want us to pursue.
Finally, we would like to thank our sponsors without whom this work would not be possible:
SILVER: Winnings Appliances