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Strategic planning sessions in Melbourne - June/July 2014

Below the dates of our coming strategic planning meetings in June/July.
During this time we'll be refining the strategic plan vision, mission, goals and actions - it's a great time to contribute if you're interested. 

Review consultation results and draft strategic plan  / Name brainstorming

10am (for a 10.30am start) to 3.30pm

Refine strategic plan and develop project/action ideas

6.45pm (for a 7pm start) to 9pm

10am (for a 10.30am start) to 3.30pm

Venues vary for each date. To RSVP, and find out where we'll be meeting, please send an email to 

Want to know a bit about what's happened so far? Click here.

Why are we doing this? Find out more here.


Update on our public strategic planning session

We recently held a public session in Melbourne to present some of our strategic plan work so far and invite feedback. It was a productive session, led by strategic planning facilitator Sarah Davis, that sparked welcome debate and critical comment. We spent the evening with a mixed crowd - from complete newcomers to one of our founding members. Thank you to everyone who attended: your input is of enormous value to us in determining our future direction as an organisation. It was fantastic for our core team of eight to hear from some voices outside the room after working away in isolation for the past few months!

We took away some key questions from the night that we will continue to explore as a team, and would like to share these with you below:

 - Is our focus local or international, or both, and to what extent? Does this need to be reflected in a particular goal, or can it underpin/inform our approach generally?

- Does conflict/war need to be directly flagged somewhere in our goals? This was definitely a key motivating factor for the formation of A4P (pre-declaration of war on Iraq), but is something that has not come through strongly in our strategic planning discussions to date. This might be partly because our core group is based in Melbourne, Australia, where conflict is removed from our personal life experiences. Do we need to reintroduce as specific goal on this subject?

- Do our current goals take enough of a political position? (e.g. affordable housing for low income earners is very broad - and could mean a number of things. Do we need to drill down further?)   

- Are the words we're using clear and going to be broadly understood in the same way? 'Self-sufficiency' was noted as one term with possible negative connotations of exclusion. Are there any other problematic terms that need further definition or an alternative?


The questions above emerged from discussion of our draft goals. We presented these on the night, then split into groups and asked participants to respond to the goals with their ideas for potential partners and action ideas, broadly under the following key areas:

a. Partnerships (partnering with other organisations to lobby for change on issues of concern to our members)
b. Research
c. Design

Below is an overview of the goals and responses to them:

1. Quality affordable housing for people on low incomes

2. Greater self-sufficiency and coexistence with urban and natural environments

3. Civic spaces and services that are accessible with human powered and public transport options

What's in a name?

There's been some reflection on our name as part of this process. We've wondered if the word 'Architects' has created a barrier to participation for people who don't directly identify with the profession. The intent was always to be an inclusive organisation, with a focus on the built environment and social justice. That means not only architects, but engineers, planners, urban designers, artists, landscape architects, builders, as well as anyone who inhabits a built environment - in other words, everyone! We put a possible name change on the agenda and found the room was split evenly between 'keep' and 'change'. So the jury's still out.

What do you think? We'd love to hear from you!

Get involved

We will be holding fortnightly meetings in Melbourne on Tuesdays and Saturdays in June and July, with a view to wrapping up the plan towards the end of July. If you'd like to contribute, now's the time! Please email for more details on session dates and times, or to find out how you can contribute remotely if you're not in Melbourne.

Thank you!

Thanks to Katherine, Targol, Akemi, Anne Claire, Nicole, Dina and Pauline for running the night - and to the fabulous Sarah Davis for facilitating!


Introducing strategic planning facilitator Sarah Davis!

We are delighted to welcome Sarah Davis to our team. Sarah came on board in April in the role of strategic planning facilitator, and has been instrumental in guiding us through the process of reflecting on our organisational vision, mission and goals, and developing a plan for our future. We look forward to continuing to work with her closely in coming months as the plan takes shape!

Please read more about the skills and experience Sarah brings to the role below: 

Sarah Davis 
Sarah is an experienced strategic planner with skills in strategic thinking facilitation, project design and organisational development. She is passionate about helping people to achieve shared goals for social justice and health through working in partnership and advocating for change. Over the past 14 years in the community development and education sectors, Sarah has worked for local government, Victorian Government funded Neighbourhood Renewal on public housing estates, TAFE, universities and not-for-profit organisations including the Brotherhood of St Laurence. Sarah completed her Master of Education (Management) in 2012 at the University of Melbourne -- her thesis regarding the equity issues involved in privatising the training sector was entitled 'Job seekers, traps and Mickey-Mouse training'. She is planning an action research project for her PhD regarding social housing and community empowerment.


Strategic Planning Session in Melbourne - Tuesday 27 May 2014

We will be holding a public session in Melbourne later this month open to anyone interested in contributing to the future direction of Architects for Peace.

Date: Tuesday 27 May 2014
Time: 7pm
Venue: Arena Magazine Project Space - 2 Kerr Street 
(off Nicholson Street), Fitzroy, Melbourne

The session will be facilitated by strategic planner Sarah Davis. Sarah has a background in education, strategic planning and community consultation. With her help, we have begun to define several key goals and objectives that will determine our future organisational focus and ultimately lead to specific projects and actions. We will present some of this early work on the night, and you will have the opportunity to respond and contribute your own ideas.

Check out the Facebook event here.
Please RSVP here before Friday 23 May.
Refreshments provided.


Appeal for Valparaiso

Image source:

The following is a letter sent to our colleagues at ARC-Peace and we have taken the licence to republish it in order to support the appeal.

Dear ARC PEACE colleagues,

I imagine that you are in knowledge of the mega fire that recently affected the city of Valparaíso (Chile), 12-13 of April. In that context the School of Architecture of the Valparaíso University in conjunction with the Department of Architecture of Santa Maria University, decided to head a solidarity rally under the motto "20,000 metal sheets for Valparaíso" consisting in gathering same number of Zinc alum roof sheets to be distributed among 1,000 affected families.

Please note with how little we all can help the thousands of homeless victims! All donors should follow the particulars of the Valparaíso University bank account to send their contributions. Finally, I shall be most grateful if you would kindly pass the word among your contacts.

Thank you on behalf of many homeless that right now face a hard winter time!

Lautaro Ojeda Ledesma, architect (University of Valparaiso)
Doctorate in Land Use and Urbanism (Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France)
UNESCO External Surveyor for "Creative City Network"
Adjunct Professor with the School of Architecture, University of Valparaiso
Editor of Márgenes Magazine, University of Valparaiso
Associated Researcher (Institut de Géoarchitecture, France)

Donations for Valparaíso victims in Chile
From 16/04/2014 till 30/05/2014 you may donate via internet through an electronic transfer to:

Beneficiary: Universidad de Valparaiso
Current Account Nº: 5100117705
Bank: Santander Chile
Swift Code: BSCHCLRM

Intermediary Bank: Banco Santander, Madrid, Spain
IBAN: ES4200495494852910148818

Note: 1 metal sheet = 10,00 euros (U$S 12,00)