Clare Cousins, of Clare Cousins Architects, has been inaugurated as the national president of the Australian Institute of Architects at the Institute’s Annual General Meeting in Melbourne.
Cousins flagged housing affordability and sustainability as two of her particular areas of interest during her term in office.
“I am passionate about the transformational role architects play in the life of our cities and communities as champions of innovation, quality and design that enhances sustainability and liveability,” she said.
“Architects are ideally placed to help deliver solutions to challenges around housing affordability, without compromising on amenity. We want to work with government to implement here in Australia housing models from around the world that could play a vital role in providing more appropriate housing for Australians.”
As President Elect, Cousins was involved in the formulation of the Institute’s 2018-2020 strategy, which places greater emphasis on advocacy.
“Our new strategy provides a strong framework as we dive into the next 12 months with an ambitious program focused on advocacy and revitalizing our offering of toolsets to assist members in their day-to-day practice,” she said.
In addition to her work in practice, Cousins was previously a councillor of the Victorian chapter of the Institute, chair of the Members Services Committee (Victoria), a juror on a number of awards programs and chair of the Architecture Australia editorial advisory committee.
In 2013 she received the Emerging Architect Prize at the Institute’s Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards.
Cousins replaces outgoing national president Richard Kirk, and will be replaced as President Elect by Helen Lochhead, resulting in the first two successive female presidents in the Institute’s history.
Cousins’ ascension also marks the first time the organization will have both a female National President and CEO in Jennifer Cunich.