Message from Ben Willsmore FAILA, AILA Director

In the coming weeks, AILA members across the country will come together to celebrate the strength of our profession through the annual state awards. The Awards nights are a genuine celebration of our profession and the collegiate nature of our members.


It provides us with a valuable snapshot of the quality of design across the Country, our ability as a profession to genuinely engage with diverse communities, and to constructively address the challenges of climate change, through increasingly important mitigation and adaptation measures.

The recent change in our Federal Government leadership presents AILA with opportunities to continue to build stronger partnerships within Canberra and the ability to influence change. The Awards programs across each state provide a contemporary suite of projects that allows AILA to proactively demonstrate the value of our profession to the highest levels of government.

New South Wales has recently announced the 2022 winners, and I look forward to sharing with the board the upcoming South Australian Awards at the start of July, which coincides with the next Board meeting. Keep an eye out for more state awards announcements in the coming weeks.

The Award Programs coincides with a renewed focus on the policy matters that effect our profession via the AILA Federal Government Manifesto, this provides an important milestone for AILA’s advocacy.
The last few weeks have also seen the launch of a number of other strategic initiatives to support our Members.

Climate Positive Design

Last Wednesday, 8th June, the latest Member Connect webinar hosted the launch of Volume 2 of Climate Positive Design. Hosted by Martin O’Dea and Kate James from the AILA Climate Positive Design Working Group, Volume 2 provides a guide for practices to take the necessary steps to become climate positive. 

This can be a daunting process, and can raise a number of financial, risk and operating concerns. The Organisation Guide provides a series of practical steps to address these concerns and should give practices and organisations of all sizes the ability to account for your office emissions, identify effective ways to reduce emissions and with confidence approach offsetting the remaining emissions.

The release of Volume 2 is an important milestone and the board are appreciative of the ongoing efforts of a number of AILA members who contribute to the Climate Positive Design Working Group, chaired by Martin O’Dea. It is anticipated that Volume 1 – Action Plan for Australian Landscape Architects will be released later this year.

Gender Equity Mentorship Program

The other imitative recently launched to members was the AILA Gender Equity Mentorship Program. This program has been created by AILA’s Gender Equity Committee and is intended to provide a new forum to women in our profession to seek support in their own professional development, to strategize their future and to help support others. 

As some of you may recall, the AILA 2022 Salary Survey released earlier this year, highlighted the challenges relating to gender equity and the dis-proportionate male dominance in senior roles, despite strength in female representation at graduate and intermediate development.

It its hoped initiatives like the Mentorship Program provide a supportive forum to establish new connections and the ability to share experiences amongst women, to support a stronger and more equitable profession. The Board are grateful for the efforts and energies of the Gender Equity Committee in launching this important program.

The Mentor Match program is set out in four simple steps. The program is now open for members to enrol as a Mentor, Mentee or both!

I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming awards event and I know my fellow directors and our CEO feel the same. The Board is meeting again at the beginning of July, please feel free to approach any of us to discuss the matters that effect you.

Ben Willsmore FAILA
National Board Member 

Ben Willsmore FAILA, AILA Director