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Australian Institute of Architects appoints 79th National President

Victorian architect Clare Cousins was inaugurated as the 79th National President of the Australian Institute of Architects at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Melbourne.

As the Institute increases its advocacy activity in line with our new strategic plan, Cousins will continue to champion key Institute policies including affordable housing and sustainability.

‘I am passionate about the transformational role architects play in the life of our cities and communities as champions of innovation, quality and design that enhances sustainability and liveability.

‘Architects are ideally placed to help deliver solutions to challenges around housing affordability, without compromising on amenity. We want to work with government to implement here in Australia housing models from around the world that could play a vital role in providing more appropriate housing for Australians.

‘With a strong focus on the power of good design, architects can have a positive influence on the production of both new and retrofitted housing stock that is energy efficient, reducing the unnecessary burden of high running costs on Australian households,’ Cousins said.

Cousins takes the reins from Richard Kirk who becomes Immediate Past President.

‘I would like to thank Richard for the incredible counsel and leadership he provided during his tenure. The Institute has undergone great change over the past few years which culminated in the launch of our Strategy 2018-2020 at the end of last year.

‘Our new strategy provides a strong framework as we dive into the next 12 months with an ambitious program focused on advocacy and revitalising our offering of toolsets to assist members in their day-to-day practice,’ Cousins said.

Cousins established her Melbourne practice, Clare Cousins Architects, in 2005. She was elected to the Institute’s National Council in 2016 as a Nationally-elected Councillor and is the current Chair of the National Practice Committee.

Previously, she was a Victorian Chapter Councillor and has been an active member of the Victorian Small and Medium Practice Forums, Chair of the Member Services Committee (Victoria), Chair of the Architecture Australia Editorial Committee, Constructive Mentoring Program mentor (Victoria) and a juror at both state and national levels of the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards program.

For the first time, the Australian Institute of Architects has both a female National President and Chief Executive Officer – Jennifer Cunich. The Institute has stepped up to the gender equity challenge with five female Directors on the eight-person Board, and National Council with seven females out of sixteen member representatives.

Cousins will be succeeded by Nationally-elected Councillor and Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of NSW in Sydney, Helen Lochhead, who took on the role of President Elect at the AGM.

Taken from Australian Institute of Architects Media Release 15 May 2018

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