03 June 2019
Image: Jonathon Wherrett
Are you an attendee or an activist?
This is the question posed by the curators of the 2019 National Architecture Conference.
Tasmania traditionally has many of the most politically engaged communities in the country. With our small population, overly proportional political representation, and a contemporary history littered with environmental and community battles played out in the political sphere, we are a population with a heightened political awareness. As a chapter, our members are naturally representative of the microcosm of the community we draw from.
A year has passed since 36 Tasmanians made the trip north to attend the 2018 conference on the Gold Coast. As this is my last e-news message before the 2019 National Architecture Conference takes place in Melbourne on 20-22nd June, I thought it important to reflect on why the conference is important for the profession generally and for our chapter.
Hosting 1000 delegates each year, the National Architecture Conference is the profession’s largest annual gathering. Over a two day period the conference will host 26 renowned local and international speakers over eight sessions. In addition to the conference program there are many fringe events including an opening party, workshops, site visits and walking tours. It’s great that our chapter is represented with Mat Hinds and Poppy Taylor as speakers.
This year’s conference has been curated by Monique Woodward (WOWOWA) and Stephen Choi, (Living Future Institute Australia) and the theme is, Collective Agency. The theme raises the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and with unity comes an ability to affect an outcome. The conference will hear from architects and thought-leaders, challenging the status quo and celebrating projects from small, medium, and large practices inside and outside of architecture.
Speakers will encourage attendees to reflect on today’s challenges, the articulation of more meaningful protocols, and the willingness to act towards change. Attendees will be challenged to re-examine their professional aspirations.
Our beautiful state and strong sense of identity are virtues, however with the national conference so close to our shores, this represents an excellent opportunity to take time from practice and reflect on the amazing work being undertaken interstate. It is also an unrivalled opportunity for networking and continuing professional development opportunities (10 massive CPD points!).
I dream of a day where the national conference might be held on our shores. The first political act toward this end must be a strong presence at the National Conference – we currently have 35 attendees and would love to see this number grow. So please take this chance to be part of a national conversation about architecture and join Mat, Poppy and the rest of us in flying the flag for our chapter and state on the national stage.
The Australian Institute of Architects has organised preferential rates for conference attendees at a number of hotels in Melbourne so if you are interested check out the conference web site here for more detailed information.
Shamus Mulcahy RAIA
President, Tasmanian Chapter,
Australian Institute of Architect