It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was preparing to take on the challenge of the national presidency. Only one year ago we were moving into the unfamiliar practice of writing dates on documents with a year beginning with the number 2. We were wondering with some trepidation what this brand new decade was going to bring us.
We were waiting for the Productivity Commission to produce their draft report, and we looked forward to the Olympic Games even though we were worried that John Clarke’s ABC show was a documentary rather than a comedy.
We now have the Productivity Commission’s final report and, although the report’s recommendation is still self-regulation, we believe that the commission’s report provides a basis for reform of architects’ legislation that could result in the adoption of a system that reflects sound contemporary international practice in the area of registration and regulation of architects. This would create opportunities for the implementation of a nationally consistent scheme that protects individual consumers and the public’s right to better designed buildings and urban spaces.
Last year we made some significant progress in developing a system that would achieve this and we wrote to state and territory government ministers offering the assistance of our joint working party in developing their response to the commission’s report.
Last year was also a year that the RAIA put resources into the promotion to the public of issues of sustainability (ESD). The national manager public relations and I undertook a national tour speaking about it to the media and members. I was pleased at the response to the issues of sustainability both from the community and also from our members. It is clear to me that there is a strong take-up of ESD ideas by the community. If the hosts of the radio programs and the journalists who interviewed me were any indication, there is community surprise that the architectural profession is so committed to it and has done so much work on the issue.
State government ministers who I spoke with are keen to use the resources the RAIA has developed to assist them in creating policy for sustainable futures.
Finally, one of the achievements we had last year was the signing of an agreement to jointly publish a suite of construction contracts with the Master Builders Association. This signing, I hope, will herald a new beginning in our relationship with the MBA that will lead to collaborations in other areas.
This agreement would not have come about had it not been for the efforts of Jack Hutchinson, the president of the MBA. Guy Solling (from the MBA) and Graham Scott-Bohanna did the hard work. The RAIA owes them a large vote of thanks for their excellent work which will have a direct benefit for every architect and builder who uses the contracts.