AASA - Providing leadership and advocacy for architectural education in Australasia


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Friday September 25, 2020

The AASA AGM was held on 22 – 23 September 2020. The meeting was originally scheduled to be held at QUT’s Creative Industries Precinct in Brisbane, however, due to COVID 19, the face to face meeting was replaced by virtual meeting via ZOOM. We had more than 30 member schools from Australia, and New Zealand attended the event.

Although the 2-day meeting only runs for three hours on each day, we managed to cover a number of topics, presentations and had two workshops organised. We started the day with our virtual host, Professor Lisa Scharoun from QUT welcoming attendees and gave a presentation on a range of activities undertaken by the school in the past 12 months, followed by a series of reporting, such as financial/audit reports, projects and initiatives that we are currently undertaking. Some of the projects that have been successfully delivered by the Executive and portfolio leaders include:

  • Building and refining new AASA Website via WIX with an aim to save maintenance cost. The current website will be decommissioned by the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021 (Dr Yusef Patel and Dr Martha Liew)
  • Implementation of Indigenous Archive (over 300 articles) in preparation for the new AASA website (Dr Martha Liew and Dr Yusef Patel).
  • Completion of the incorporation of the AASA in July. The AASA is officially registered in Victoria (Dr Martha Liew)
  • Finalisation of Articles of the Association. The new articles can be accessible via G Drive (Dr Tanja Glusac)
  • Completion of financial and audit reports for FY 20 (Prof Chris Knapp and Dr Martha Liew)
  • Addressing superannuation issues arising from the audit report (Executive)
  • Renewal of the ACSA membership for 2020 – 2021 (Dr Martha Liew)
  • Implementation of Digital Learning Research Grant 2020 (Steven Feast)

Also, we have participated in the following reviews and initiatives:

  • Review of the AASA’s NCSA discussion paper
  • Federal Government’s Job Ready Graduates Package
  • Monash University’s Architectural Work Cultures: Professional Identity, Education and Wellbeing
  • Supporting Griffith University and University of Queensland’s application to ARC Linkage Project (Smart Apps – a resource library for architects, town planner etc. with an aim to strengthen the connection between practitioners and researchers and cultivate research culture). 

In response to COVID 19, we have undertaken the following new initiatives:

  • Implementation of AASA Webinar Series in response to COVID 19 with curator
    Dr Mohammed Makki (5 webinars were conducted between April and June)
  • Implementation of 2020 AASA Student Logo Design Competition to engage our students (Dr Yusef Patel and Dr Martha Liew) and building of an online gallery (Dr Martha Liew)

Unfortunately, the following projects were put on hold for one year:

  • Pedagogy Portfolio – Australian Modernism (Prof Deborah Ascher-Barnstone)
  • AASA Education Prize for Early Career Academics (Prof Chris Knapp).
  • Identification of a new Indigenous education portfolio leader

In relation to the AASA membership, we have the following announcements:

  • AUT is officially an affiliate member of the AASA.
  • Charles Darwin University is no longer offering Bachelor of Architecture program. The school withdrew AASA membership in August 2020.
  • Potential members the University of Hong Kong and National Fuji University – we are unable to continue our pursuit with both schools due to COVID 19 and introduction of National Security Law in Hong Kong.

The AASA is also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Chris Brisbin as the new Treasurer. Our current Treasurer, Professor Chris Knapp, who has been serving the AASA since 2014, will step down from his position after the AGM.

The AASA would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Professor Chris Knapp, who has been a key contributor to the AASA for more than six years in his role as Treasurer. During his tenure, we have seen significant improvement of AASA’s financial systems, including the delivery of audit reports dating back to 2013, finalisation of tax return, positive financial reports, business registrations and more. The change is significant for the association. Chris also instigated the connection with the ACSA and the Education Prize for Early Career Academics, and he always brings a thoughtful and constructive voice to proceedings. Thank you, Chris, for your leadership and dedication to the AASA!

Finally, the AASA would like to thanks our long-term collaborators, including Kate Doyle, CEO and Michelle Breen, Architects Accreditation Council of Australia; Professor Martyn Hook, President, ADBED; Lisa Moore, National Education Committee Chair, the Australian Institute of Architects and Sian Singh, SANNZ for their support to the AASA. We also like to thank Dr Rongrong Yu, Professor Francesco Mancini, Dr Mohammed Makki, Professor Naomi Stead, and Lyndsay Swan for their presentations and sharing their work with us.

Thank you for all your support of us during this challenging time. Let us look forward to 2021, hopefully, beginning to bring us more normality to how we do things.