Letters

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

Institute History

›› IPP Ed Haysom’s semi-apology (AA ›› March/April 2001) to David Standen, for ›› getting our Institute history wrong, got that ›› history wrong again. All State Institutes did ›› not “agree in 1929 to form a national body”.

Some, not all, agreed to a quasi-federal ›› system where the States maintained parity ›› and self government. One State Institute ›› (RIAWA) did not agree to anything, until WWII ›› forced the situation. It is this change from a ›› State based system which has John Chappel ›› jumping – and rightly.

John Duncan, WA ›› I refer to John Chappel’s letter (Nov/Dec ›› 2000) and the calumnious retort from ›› President Haysom. I write as an architect ›› who served twenty years of the Council of ›› the SA Chapter of the RAIA (and the SAIA ›› which co-existed) and also served ten years ›› and Councillor for South Australia on the ›› federal [sic] Council of the RAIA.

Haysom is completely and fundamentally ›› wrong in the principal matters of Chappel’s ›› letter. It is said that those who are ignorant ›› of the past have no chance of understanding ›› the present.

The Institute indisputedly was founded in ›› 1930, after many years of deliberation, as a ›› federation of state bodies which had formed ›› independently. If referred to at all as ›› “national” it was with a small “n”. Nobody ›› who lived through the time after 1930, and ›› nobody who has – as every President ›› should – read Professor J.M. Freeland’s ›› book The Making of the Profession could ›› have the slightest doubt about this.

From its inception, and for more than 50 ›› years afterwards, the Federal Institute was ›› governed by a council which had two ›› representatives from each state, elected by ›› the members of that state (not the chapter), ›› so the populous states could not ride ›› roughshod over the smaller ones; and no ›› state “surrendered it sovereignty” as ›› alleged by Haysom.

This form existed and functioned well ›› until the deplorable rewrite (in mangled ›› English) of the constitution and the ›› arbitrary, senseless meddling with the ›› Council representation which was foisted on ›› the membership with absurd haste. At the ›› same time the state Chapters were ›› suborned to reduce them to powerless ›› appendages, serving not much better ›› purposes (but much more expensive) than ›› post boxes for Canberra.

Concerning the matter of the Charter of ›› the Institute; where does Haysom suppose ›› the “Royal” in RAIA came from if not be ›› charter from the Crown? His disingenuous ›› sophistry cannot disguise his own ›› proclivities. the majority of Australians, of ›› which Institute members are an integral part, ›› voted solidly against republicanism. he ›› apparently is one of the bad-losers who sulk ›› in disagreement with the democratic vote.

I resigned from the Institute dome years ›› ago because its principle aim “the ›› Advancement of Architecture” was being ›› subverted by those self-seekers who were ›› hell-bent on advancing the cause of ›› architects, not Architecture; with the present ›› result that, as a profession, our public ›› standing has now diminished to the extent ›› that the Productivity Commission believes we ›› are indistinguishable from building ›› draughting services, and concludes that ›› continuance of the registration of Architects ›› has no public benefit.

It is all too easy to see how that decline ›› has come about.

Doug Michelmore, SA.

Fixes

- The full project team for the St James ›› Station redevelopment was omitted from the ›› review in the last issue of AA. It is as ›› follows: Architect Lahz Nimmo Architects— ›› project team Andrew Nimmo, Annabel Lahz, ›› Tim Horton, Garry Bowen. Project Manager ›› Marcia Aqui, City Projects. Client Council of ›› the City of Sydney. Contractor Les Moore ›› Projects. Heritage Consultant Edmund ›› BeBee. Quantity Surveyor Cave and ›› Associates. Structural Engineer Patterson ›› Wholahan Grill. Hydraulic Engineer ACOR ›› Consultants. Landscape Architect OCULUS. Electrical Engineer Vince Cariola and ›› Associates.

Source

Archive

Published online: 1 May 2001

Issue

Architecture Australia, May 2001

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