Each year the ArchiTeam Board and CEO have a Planning Day and despite COVID19 still being part of our daily existence, this year was surprisingly no different. Thanks to our friends at the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne we were once again lucky enough to have the day in the Japanese Room.


The Planning Day is designed to give the Board and CEO an opportunity to review the previous year and discuss the upcoming year and how we would like the cooperative to proceed. This year the day was run by Robine Stephenson of UMECO, many of you met Robine last year at the Future of ArchiTeam member discussion session. The information we gained from you at that session also played a vital role in this year’s discussion.


To start with we discussed the year that was, 2020 and how we all felt about how the coop had performed. Robine asked us all to write down our three ‘superpowers’ that we bring our roles at ArchiTeam and we discussed how these superpowers (eg communications, strategic thinking, entrepreneurism, negotiation, agility) can be used in the year ahead of us.


In previous years, the Board has discussed big future planning ideas for ArchiTeam looking at 5 and 10 years ahead, but after the year we have had our new Chair Warwick Mihaly felt that this year’s planning day should be about this year – 2021 – and what we will continue working on ‘business as usual’ and the new ideas and initiatives discussed at the Future of ArchiTeam discussion and how we action some of these strategically through the year. To do this though we need a little more information from you by you participating in the Member Survey which was delayed last year. This survey and a couple state-specific ones will be sent out to you in the coming months so we hope you will all be able to participate. One outcome of gaining your responses to the surveys is they will assist us in the mapping out of our growth around the country too. As shareholders of ArchiTeam Cooperative, this is an opportunity to help shape the coop into the organisation you like, use, want, and need it to be.


Other outcomes of the day were the reassignment of the Director’s portfolios. As I said earlier Warwick has taken on the role of Chair and will take on the Finance and Research Portfolios. The Research Portfolio covers Research for Architects in Small Practice (RAsP) with the second project already underway on the economics of architecture which we hope it will gain further traction in the first half of this year.


Jamie Sormann will continue as Director of the Awards Portfolio (with changes to the Awards categories already underway) and Partnerships Portfolio which will see him involved in the fourth series of the Naked Architect.


Sonia Sarangi continues as Director of the Events and Conference portfolios, including her very important role as co-convenor of our third national conference ‘Trajectories’ which will be our first virtual conference on Friday 21 May, tickets on sale shortly!


At the end of the year, we welcomed new Directors Kalliopi Vakras and Delia Teschendorff. Kalliopi will be the Director in charge of the Advocacy and Member Services Portfolio and Delia Teschendorff will be taking on the Insurance Portfolio and Member Services with Kalliopi. Member Services has grown to quite a sizable portfolio, covering business docs like the recently updated Client Architect Agreement (CAA), the soon to be rereleased OH&S Kit, and the currently under review Employment Contracts. There are several other new member services in the works like SOAP – but more on that one soon.


Overall, we had a great day discussing the coop and eating our lunchboxes from our friends at Firecracker and enjoying spending the day together face-to-face. Thank you to Robine for running such a productive day which left us feeling really inspired about the new year and all we can achieve at the Coop.