Last week I attended the most recent AILA Member Connect webinar, hosted by AILA’s Parents in Landscape Architecture Network (PLAN). The webinar introduced us to the stories and journeys of three women in landscape architecture, Alison Cauchois of The Green Boutique, Carla Ramsland of R Haus and Vanessa Margetts of MudMap Studio. Each of these women created their own opportunities, starting practices that align with their work, values, family relationships, to honour the way they wish to work.
These professionals reminded us that everyone needs a village of support. In their cases, they collected people around them who complemented their needs and values. I think this is transferable to every aspect of our lives.
Reflecting on my own, I can see I have different villages of support for the various facets of my work and play world too. My favourite type of ‘village’ is created when work colleagues become friends.
I am now 6 months into the presidential role at AILA. The transition within the board has been made seamless by our AILA village. I would really like to take this opportunity to thank all those on committees, working groups, staff and AILA executives for the increasingly collaborative and supportive environment in which we work to deliver AILA initiatives. I wish to acknowledge our AILA village for their willingness and availability to be a sounding board, brains trust and reassuring voice when making decisions for the Institute.
I equally enjoy reading the growing and varied conversations being posted on the AILA member forum, ‘The Hive’ at Memberscape. It is here that our committees and working groups provide updates on their projects for broader member awareness. It is also the platform for real time and direct feedback on AILA initiatives that are underway. It truly embodies ‘One AILA’ with the opportunity to have views expressed across the country.
The month of March also marked AILA Board Meeting 177. Our key messages from this meeting are summarised below.
- State and National juries for the landscape Architecture Awards have now been announced, with chapter reveals on award entries planned for early May.
- April is World Landscape Architecture month recognising and celebrating the vital role of Landscape Architecture in shaping healthy, resilient and creating places for people. A quick google will reveal resources that advocate for the profession and inspire private and public practice.
- EOIs for the 2024 Festival will be released shortly with the board agreeing to some distinct changes for the selection of the host city and venue. We are creating suspense for the reveal so stay posted.
- Our CEO Ben Stockwin has recently returned from Canberra with success in securing meetings Ministers from both sides of politics. Key agenda items included:
- AILA and its role in the built environment
- The immediate labour shortage facing the profession, resulting in a constrained environment for project development and the employment of undergraduates as landscape architects
- The lack of incentives for private investment in UGI projects
- The role of AILA and the profession in support climate change policy, especially in relation to energy efficiency and climate mitigation.
- Our new members for AILA committees have now been announced. Our gratitude is expressed for outgoing members and a huge welcome for the new. Each committee will be meeting shortly to establish their focus to support our operational plan for the coming term.
- Like all business, AILA is also feeling inflationary financial pressure. The Board spent time reviewing financials and we continue to respond in a dynamic fashion to ensure financial stability within our organisation.
- To ensure the discipline of landscape architecture is prepared to meet the challenge ahead, AILA has scheduled our first education summit in April 2022, where we will bring together representatives from the AILA, Australia’s accredited programs and the professional community to proactively commence an action plan for now and into the future. We need to ensure that there is a growing pipeline of trained professionals to meet the needs of an increasing complex profession. The long-term aim of the summit is to fulfill AILA’s key education strategic objective of, “Australia’s landscape architecture programs, and student and academic communities, are sustained and bolstered.”
- Our membership continues to grow.
All the best for the month ahead,
Peta-Maree Ashford, FAILA