Message from Claire Martin FAILA, AILA President

Dear AILA Members,

I am writing from the lands of the The Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (DDWCAC) the Traditional Owners of djandak, in Central Victoria. The birds are singing, Victorian restrictions have lifted, and “true spring” brings change and renewal – it’s an apt time for some quiet reflection.

We continue to focus on AILA’s strategic values with the Connection to Country Committee, in partnership with our four cultural advisors, delivering on AILA’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). AILA’s Gender Equity Working Group are continuing to deliver on AILA’s Gender Equity Report including the development of a new Practice Note for members. 

And as we deal with the fallout of COP26 AILA’s Climate Positive Design Working Group, chaired by Martin O’Dea, has been busy finalising member resources to ensure AILA members are aware of the challenges we face and how to implement climate action. AILA has set the 2030 target of a 75% reduction in emissions and a 2040 target of zero embodied carbon and emissions. The working group have used international benchmarking to develop a trio of documents the AILA Roadmap, the Organisation Guide to Climate Positive Design and the AILA Member Action Plan to support our members and landscape architects across the region and the world to deliver climate action. We look forward to the formal launch of these documents in the new year.

AILA’s financial sustainability is looking strong. We have continued to see growth in our membership and the retention and creation of new partnerships to maintain AILA’s financial stability. The Financial Risk and Audit Committee Terms of Reference have been refreshed and we will be reconvening the committee. At a time of significant change, the FRAC will play an important role in ensuring that financial oversight and risk continue to be carefully monitored.

The board is genuinely excited about the step change AILA is about to make as we start to deliver on our new Strategic Plan – which has seen the launch of our new website, a new CRM, and the community platform Memberscape. I encourage you to join the platform and to share your knowledge with your peers to help build an Australian community of practice.

As we start a new board term, I would like to thank my colleagues on the AILA Board who have been great to work with, who are highly collaborative and professional, and who always put our members’ interests first.

I’d also like to congratulate Peta-Maree Ashford who has been returned to the board, and to welcome AILA South Australian Past President, Ben Willsmore. I thank all the candidates for nominating, and all the members who voted. I’d particularly like to thank and farewell AILA Company Secretary and outgoing Director Chris Tidswell, who has served on the AILA Board for the last three years and who has commenced a new role as the Honourary Secretary of the IFLA Asia-Pacific Region. 

Thanks to AILA’s Board and Chapter Committees, for their significant contributions over the last year; and the AILA CEO and staff for their ongoing commitment and openness to change and growth at a time of significant global disruption. This year has been a foundational year for AILA and one that we believe will see the next step change for AILA, our members, and the profession in Australia. 

Claire Martin FAILA
National President 

Claire Martin FAILA, AILA President