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The votes are in! We would like to announce and congratulate our two newly elected DARCH co-chairs, Phuong Le from MPA Workplace and Joseph O’Meara from BVN Architects. Phuong and Joseph are both actively involved with DARCH and other industry associations. Phuong is currently also on the NSW Chapter Committee of the National Association of Women in Construction and Joseph is currently also a mentor in the Institute’s mentoring program and a tutor in the Institute’s PALS (Practice of Architecture Learning Series) program.

Phuong and Joseph replace outgoing co-chairs Ksenia Totoeva and Tim Hastwell. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ksenia who was elected as National EmAGN President and who will continue on as a DARCH committee member. We would also like to farewell Tim Hastwell and thank him for his significant contribution to DARCH over the past five years. Best of luck Tim with your future endeavours.

The NSW DARCH committee have planned an exciting year ahead with several upcoming site tours, talks, competitions, awards and new events to encourage, support and inspire young members of the profession. For more information on upcoming events visit www.darch.com.au, follow us on social media, or email: darch@architecture.com.au

2016 DARCH Committee

Country Division

The annual conference will be held at the Mantra resort in Salt, near Kingscliff from 27–30 September. Scott Carpenter and Sarah Aldridge are this year’s creative directors and the conference ‘Onshore/Offshore, quite sure, not sure’ will be exploring ideas of place and identity. The organisation of this event is being handled by the national events team for the first time and Country Division is trialling this new way of working as part of the restructure.

The awards program organisation is also being handled by the national awards team for the first time on a trial basis. Russell McFarland is the Jury Chair this year. The awards are now open and judging will be in July. Awards will be presented at the awards night at the conference in September.

The Country Division ‘Architects Outback’ program – see archoutback.com.au – has been receiving excellent press coverage, including a story on ABC Radio National called ‘Architects in regional Australia’. This program received a grant of $3,800 through our accumulated funds Special Projects grant program and has gone on to secure cofunding from the NSW Architects Board. This is an excellent example of a regional grassroots advocacy project initiated by members. It is promoting the use of architects in remote areas and generating work for other Country Division members. Congratulations to Cameron Anderson and team for an excellent initiative.

Sarah Aldridge
NSW Country Division Chair

  • New DARCH co-chairs Joseph O’Meara and Phuong Le.
  • Outback Architects’ Alex Murray with ABC Radio producer Janne Ryan at Dunlop Station, Louth, 100 kms from Bourke, NSW. Photo: Cameron Anderson Architects.
  • Overall winner and award for excellence in the 2016 Newcastle Architecture Awards: Axis House in Toronto, NSW by Jonathan Dawes in conjunction with EJE Architecture. Photo: Nathan Dawes

Newcastle Division

The Newcastle Division Committee has reconvened following a period of uncertainty after the closure of the regional office. The Committee is working to recover lost ground, to hold events, to make the AIA relevant to the local profession and raise the awareness of architecture and design in the community.

Debra McKendry Hunt has unfortunately stepped down from the Chair for personal reasons and Peter Kemp has taken over. The Committee wishes to thank Debra for her outstanding effort in leading the Division over the past eighteen months, and in particular for the time she has committed to ensuring the Newcastle Division is fully supported by the NSW Chapter following the office closure in December 2015.

A very successful Newcastle Awards program was run at the beginning of the year with twenty-six entries and over ninety attendees at the awards presentation held on 17 March. In lieu of our regular joint University lecture series, SueAnne Ware from the School of Architecture and Built Environment brought a stimulating Practice Matters lecture series into the city to provide ongoing discourse on architecture and related fields.

Upcoming events include: Architecture on Show featuring some of the recent award-winning architects discussing their projects; PALS course from 18 June, and further CPD events and ArchiMEET later in the year. Chapter Council is also proposing to meet in Newcastle for their July meeting. This will give members the opportunity to meet Councillors and for Councillors to learn more about the Newcastle Division.

Following much lobbying, a dedicated person was recently employed to look after the Newcastle and Country Divisions. Over the last three months, Kristen Carroll has been the new Manager, Member Engagement NSW. We support the Institute’s proposals to restructure at national level and will be keen to develop active communication with the newly appointed CEO, Jennifer Cunich.

Peter Kemp
Acting Chairperson, Newcastle Division 
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