News from AILA Victoria Chapter 25 January 2022
Welcome to 2022 and the first newsletter from the Victorian chapter. Today I'm writing to you from Taungurung country in regional Victoria, more specifically the alpine region of Mount Buller.
With difficulties still associated with international travel a lot of our members found themselves returning-to-regional and visiting country more closer to home over the summer break, myself included. It has offer and opportunity to connect with family and friends and offered the opportunity to connect with country that I and more broadly we all haven’t seen in a while due to gathering and travel restrictions.
Mount Buller has always been a special place for me growing up during the winter season from my time skiing but also in the summer season hiking remote wilderness, camping and Spring touring. Over summer this country greets you with cooler fresh air seldom seen in the city, native flowers full of colour and life of insects and other critters, fresh breeze that just carries that unique bush smell of eucalypt vapour and most importantly time away from the screen that gives me a renewed energy for my connection to landscape both physical and strategically for what lies ahead in 2022.
2022 has already shown how we need to adapt as COVID continues to provide us with a recourse constrained environment due to those resting and recovering but it also shows us that we need to continue to be diligent of the road that lies ahead.
The last two years has taught us to think on our feet, or to use one of my most despised corporate sayings ‘fly the plane whilst we build it’ but whatever saying you like to use, this environment will continue to exist well into 2022 and 2023 not only due to COVID and next flexible working arrangements seen in the industry but also resource and materials strain in the design and construction sector more broadly as large infrastructure project such as Westgate Tunnel, North East Link, Melbourne Metro and Suburban Rail Loop all run at capacity across almost all stages from Business Case through to construction.
These projects combined with the Victorian Governments announcement to remove additional Level Crossings coupled with with extenuating circumstances COVID-19 is presenting across the industry more broadly resulting in a rolling reduction in the workforce will naturally result in an increased strain on all members and the workforce more generally across the industry, This is something the State Chapter Exec are well aware based of members feedback both in metro Melbourne and also regionally across the state.
But there is opportunity in this time of unprecedented growth and turbulence for growth in AILA cohort, as members at all levels are seeking out opportunities to step-up to take on more significant roles in all kinds of project this includes new members within the Victorian Chapter which saw a significant increase in members achieving Registration in 2021 with the institute welcoming a total of 53 new members, with many more undertaking the Mentorship program in 2022.
In addition to an increase in our member base, it has also been fantastic to see that conversations both on membership and industry have kept rolling onto the new Memberscape platform over the start of the year and that more and more members are finding it easy to jump online and get answers to tricky questions. It’s proving to be a great platform for discussion. If you haven’t jumped online, I encourage you to do so.
2022 has also seen the commencement of work being undertaken by this year’s VIC Awards jury panel, with details of the panel currently in the process of being finalised. Further information on the panel will be released once details are confirmed.
James Millar, VIC Chapter Secretary