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Feature article


Victorian Chapter Council

Alison Cleary

The last quarter saw a number of new initiatives for members from the Chapter, delivered with support of Chapter Council.

The first of these, the Member Forum, held in early September, was the realisation of an idea of Jon Clements during his term as Chapter President. While it attracted a relatively small audience, Chapter Council consider it a success and will look to repeat the Forum on an annual basis.

The forum included a panel of members from a broad cross section of the community including small, medium, large and regional practices and SONA, VYAG, academic and government representatives.
A series of questions were fielded from the audience (with some submitted prior to the event) on the key issues facing the profession today. Main topic areas addressed on the night included: methods of practice; fees; education; internships; equity; public engagement; planning; and lobbying government.

The intent of the evening was to provide an opportunity for members to discuss openly how they would like to see the Institute respond to a number of current issues and challenges, and what role the individual members can play in that.

For more details on the Member Forum visit the Victorian Chapter website.

Another new initiative was the very first Friday Night X event held on October 10 at the home of the Vic Chapter, 41X. This curated regular event will be held (generally) on the second Friday of each month, providing members an opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues at the end of the week in an inspiring and creative space. Just the right mix of intellectual and social stimulation!

This first event was a celebration of the partnership between architecture and food in our fair city, and was curated by Ashleigh Briggs from Fender Katsilidis who will take on this role for the next six months.  The night served as a perfect taster for the series which will be rolled out monthly February through to November.

Keep an eye out for details on the next Friday Night X in Vmail – your weekly Chapter newsletter that lets you know all that is on at the Institute as well as much of what is happening more widely in the profession.


Kim Irons

Having only just joined the Practice of Architecture Committee in the last few months, I would like to commend the work done by the Committee to date. Jane Cameron Finlay, Tom Jordon, Peter Quigley and Karen McWilliam, supported by Belinda Strickland at the Chapter, have been extremely busy, providing the greatest input to topics for the new Acumen Content Review Panel.

Of particular interest is the proposition for a short form Client Architect Agreement (CAA). The current CAA was published in 2009. This was developed to mitigate risks associated with missing details in the short form. However, it appears some practices find the size of the current CAA is daunting to smaller clients who are hesitant to sign.

Obviously, we do not want to see members, or clients, exposed to risk.  We would, therefore, welcome any additional evidence to this topic, as well as welcoming your input to further topics you believe warrant attention.

Sustainable Architecture Forum

Alex Nock

Since our last update and further to our objective to support our members in the area of sustainability, the Sustainable Architecture Forum (SAF) has been involved in a number of activities.

Michael Shaw was the guest editor for the Autumn edition of Architect Victoria. The issue “Sustainability in Practice” focused on architectural decision making rather than bolt on technology. With numerous contributions by our members, the edition is a great touchstone with respect to sustainable design in architectural practice.

More recently two events were hosted at our new home 41X. Firstly, as part of our National Series linked with the National Sustainability Committee we saw the thought provoking and content-rich presentation on social sustainability by Dr Angelique Edmonds.

Secondly, our Raising the Green Bar event “41X – An Insight” headlined presentations by Lyons and Aecom with Louise Honman coordinating and chairing the evening.

Heritage Committee

Anne-Marie Treweeke

Enhancing access to architectural archives is an essential component of maintaining our architectural heritage. The State Library of Victoria (SLV) holds a significant number of architectural drawings which are being progressively digitised at high resolution. About 2000 have been converted so far, with material out of copyright or with assigned rights available for downloading at high resolution free of charge.

Volunteers are working with the SLV on a range of other collections to enhance public access including:

•Alistair Knox (1912-86)

•William Butterfield (1814-1900) and others – drawings of St Paul’s Cathedral

•Tompkins Brothers – Henry (1865-1959) and Frank (1867-1952)

•Drawings (1960s) by Tony Styant-Browne and Peter Jacobs of the pre-1940 Grounds residences for which the originals are no longer extant

•H. Vivian Taylor (1894-1981) – cinema architect and acoustic consultant

•Geoffrey Newton Sommers (1904-1984)*

* The SLV needs to contact relatives of Geoffrey Sommers to obtain copyright permission.

The SLV is also searching for any cinema and theatre drawings relating to the practice of Cowper Murphy & Appleford. If you have any information on these or other collections to contribute, please contact the Victorian Chapter at

Awards Committee

James Staughton

With the 2014 Awards process now complete, we look forward to the year ahead and confirm the following dates for the 2015 program

2015 Victorian Architecture Award Dates

CLOSE Fri 20 Feb 2015
Award Boards DUE BY Fri 20 Feb 2015
EOIs for Jury position OPEN Mon 1 Dec 2014
CLOSE Fri 30 Jan 2015
Presentation to Juries Sat 28 March 2015
Monash University Caulfield Campus
Faculty of Art Design & Architecture
Exhibition of Entries Tues 26 May – Sun 7 June 2015
Atrium at FedSquare
Presentation Dinner Fri 26 June 2015, 7pm
Peninsula at Central Pier, Docklands

I would also like to acknowledge the departure from the awards committee of Sally Draper, Sally Draper Architects. We wish her well and thank her for her astute contribution over the past six years. In her place I’m very pleased to welcome Rosemary Burne of Billard Leece Partnership as our new committee member.


Clare Cousins

The last half of 2014 has been an extremely busy and active period for the Member Services Committee (MSC) with an extensive number of events and initiatives, all wrapping up with the Melbourne Architecture Annual (MA|A) at the end of October.

Recently the MSC was involved with two regional Perimeter events that visited Billard Leece’s new Health Sciences Building at La Trobe University Bendigo, and McBride Charles Ryan’s Victorian Medal-winning Dallas Brooks Primary School. We also staged a SONA Event Night which gave a number of students the chance to mix with senior architects in a ‘speed networking’ session. Special thanks to Elenberg Fraser for hosting us in the new city office space.

By the time this edition goes to print, MA|A 2014 will have concluded. Several events in the program were organised, run and hosted by the MSC. I look forward to providing a more detailed report on these events in the Summer edition of Architect Victoria.