In approaching the end of my presidency I am tempted to reflect, but I will look forward, and offer some challenges I predict that as a profession we will become stronger, as the needs cf our planet will determine that we are a significant link in the chain of relevance. We will open our minds even more, and outsmart or re- educate the one dimensional thinkers who insist on quick-fix solutions to ill-defined problems. We are however going to have to regain the lead, and not be followers.
I work in a large commercial practice, and I am more than aware of the pressures placed on us all to do more and more for less return; this culture will diminish if we are to provide anything more than a sound basic service. There are less qualified people offering the same service, and over time diminishing quality impacts on everyone s confidence. Think again of the combination of the least qualified and the lowest fee.
The RAIA is advocating world’s best practice principles. I know of clients who mouth the same while offering abysmal fees. There will be more acknowledgement in future of projects that are well-funded, thoroughly researched, fully documented and wonderfully constructed. The RAIA’s finalising vigorous policies on urban design, built environment and education. Many highly talented people are putting a huge effort into these documents. It is in all our interests to influence governments, and to gain or regain the confidence of our communities.
It is the institute’s intention to bolster the strength and influence of all chapters, and I encourage you all to develop special projects that will enhance our professional influence, and our contribution to society, and to enable us to have more fun.. if you can justify it! I’ve always felt frustrated in thinking that all our ‘great words and deeds’ are too internalised; however I’m encouraged when organisations such as The Property Council, and many developers and clients say that "… you re doing a good job… we really think you’re helping the construction industry…" We do get heard outside. It’s not just about architects and architecture, it is about a broad industry and a lot of people.
The immediate past president Graham Humphries, has provided a lot of support to me, as have councillors, executive, management and all chapters. I trust that my successor Ed Haysom will receive the same, and I wish him well. Thank you all, and remember that Australia is a lot more than two states and a capital territory