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President's Report – 2012

Happy New Year! As we look forward to the year ahead, I'd like to say thank you for your support this year and take a moment to reflect on the activity of 2012.

Thanks especially to last year's steering committee, which was made up of:

Beatriz Maturana - Vice President
Soledad Maldonado – Secretary
Kamil Muhammad – General member
Katherine Sampson – General member
Edith Wong – Treasurer
Anthony McInneny – General member and words@bld50 coordinator

Volunteers Soledad and Katherine have embraced their roles in the pro bono team and the steering committee with gusto. A new volunteers session is planned for early 2013.

Pro bono service 

EOI's were recently called for a pro bono architect for the Ligingi Community Centre brief development. We are currently evaluating applications. Thank you to Katherine, Soledad and Pauline for their continuing initiative and leadership. Also thanks to new members Michael, Glenda and Nicole who have become involved this year and welcome to Zin Mee. This year we planned to expand our reach to target more communities in need, through a multi-pronged approach of promotion, research and evaluation. Some initiatives that resulted include an ad in The Big Issue published in May and a meeting with Paul Pholeros of Healthabitat to discuss possible future collaboration. An online form has been created to make applications easier and posted online in September.


A huge thank you to Anthony McInneny and Kamil Muhammed, who ran the series this year. Thanks also to Farah, Dina and Nicole. There were 7 events this year:
Diego Ramirez-Lovering – Housing Tactics
Soumitri Varadarajan – Saying No to the Prima Donna
Panel Discussion: Public Art, Spatial Practices and the City, with John Vella, Dr Mick Douglas, Dr Ruth Fazakerley and chaired by Dr James Oliver
Dandenong Night Walks
Mirjana Ristic - Sarajevo warscapes
Black wave cinema film screening - Specijalno Vaspitanje (Special Education)
Grace McQuilten, The Social Studio - Creativity, design and social change

Change is afoot for the Words series – in 2013, we will be partnering with the Victorian College of the Arts Centre for Cultural Partnerships, to deliver talks at VCA's Southbank campus. We have been chatting to researcher/lecturer James Oliver at the CCP over the past few months and look forward to bringing you the first talk this year in the last week of February. Stay tuned for more details!

News and editorials 

Beatriz has led the editorial group this year. The news team continues to grow, with contributions from A4P members worldwide. We're very proud of the critical dialogue that goes on through our website, newsletters and facebook page and we encourage your input! Thanks to Ajith Kuruvilla and Peter Johns who have managed the newsletter this year.

Melbourne and Santiago 

Beatriz is now based at Instituto de la Vivienda (Institute of Housing) at the University of Chile, where she is spreading the word about A4P. She was interviewed in August on the University of Chile Radio about her teaching. The program is called " Arquitectura da que pensar" (architecture makes us think...). We bade farewell a short while ago to Anthony McInneny who has now joined Beatriz in Chile. We are keen to strengthen links between our two cities, and this has happened to an extent so far through news exchange online.

In other news.. 

Our application for special consultative status with the UN was approved, granting us the opportunity to engage with the UN's operations and other NGO's throughout the world. References to A4P work appeared in the book Momentum, published by the Office of the Victorian Government Architect, in an article by Anna Tweeddale titled 'An architectural ecology: speculations on emergent practices'.

Plans for 2013 

Welcome to the steering committee for 2013:

Beatriz Maturana - Vice President
Katherine Sampson – Secretary
Kamil Muhammad – General member
Peter Johns – General member
Edith Wong – Treasurer

I will be continuing in the role of president and look forward to working with the team to continue promoting social justice in the built environment profession. Thanks are due to our supporters, including Architeam, Visionary Design and Development (especially Mary Ann Jackson and Ralph Green) and the RMIT Public Art Department (especially Geoff Hogg and Ceri Hann) for hosting the talk series – this year and the five years prior – and to those who spoke at words@bldg50.

Eleanor Chapman

Architects for Peace President, 2012


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