Why being a member of an industry body can help communities flourish

Industry bodies play a bigger part in our every day lives than many people realise. As well as unifying and supporting their members, industry bodies work hard to champion the rights of those not only within the industry, but also strive to make positive changes which benefit the wider community.

Take the property industry’s leading advocacy group, for example - the Property Council of Australia (PCA). Through its various campaigns, the PCA not only acts as a voice for its members, it also works to increase housing affordability, build jobs, attract investment, make cities more liveable and tackle homelessness. Through industry round tables and committees, the PCA makes policy recommendations to Government which have a positive impact on communities across Australia.

Being part of something bigger

Hames Sharley is a strong supporter of the PCA, and for many years, we’re proud to have actively participated in speaking events and panels. But we’re also very proud to say that a number of our staff have been a driving force of change through participation on numerous PCA committees.

We sat down to chat with a few of our team who’ve had the honour to be selected for the PCA’s new committees in 2019 to get an understanding of why they’ve joined and what they hope to get out of it.

Louisa Glennon – Associate – Future Trends and Innovations

Based in our Adelaide office, Louisa is an experienced interior designer who has recently been appointed to join the PCA’s highly sought-after Future Trends and Innovations Committee. With an exclusive focus on South Australia, the Future Trends and Innovation Committee will be responsible for driving the development of strategic and forward focussed policies and research, and to investigate trends in the commercial office sector and beyond.

Louisa said she’s thrilled to have been chosen for the role.

“There are so many exciting things happening in South Australia right now, and I feel so honoured to be joining a committee which is focused on innovation. We haven’t had our first meeting yet, so I can’t tell you exactly what the next two years are going to entail. But I do know we’ll be looking closely at our booming defense industry and burgeoning space industry, and exploring ways to harness this growth to benefit the state long into the future.

“The reason I chose to apply was because I wanted to make a contribution. I don’t want to just hear about the exciting new things happening in this city, I want to help create them. I want to be part of the debate, to share ideas with other like-minded people and come up with solutions that are going to benefit everyone who lives here.

“And it’s not just words – people sometimes think that all committees do is sit there and talk. But that’s absolutely not the case, certainly not with the PCA. The topics and ideas we discuss will be developed into recommendations for the industry; we’re going to have very real and very actionable tasks.

“Being part of something this big is such an incredible opportunity and I’m really excited to see what the next two years brings.”

Leon Gouws – SA Studio Leader – Mainstreets and Retail

Leon is Hames Sharley’s South Australian Studio Leader and has recently been appointed to join the PCA’s Mainstreets and Retail Committee. This committee will promote the interests of the retail property sector in South Australia, as well as promoting the interests of mainstreets by looking at the trends and issues facing both key community retail precincts and shopping centres.

Leon joined Hames Sharley from South Africa, where he spent a number of years working in mixed-use precincts and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the committee.

“One of my favourite projects in South Africa was working on the Melrose Arch Precinct – a fantastic, mixed used precinct in which retail and mainstreets were a key component. I’m really looking forward to getting back to my roots and exploring new ideas for South Australia’s retail industry.

“However, that’s just one reason I joined – being on this committee will benefit me too. Having arrived in Australia relatively recently, this will be a great way for me to learn more about Adelaide and what makes it tick; I believe that having an in-depth understanding of a city is imperative to being a great architect.

“And of course, it’s also way for me to network and meet new people in the industry. This is why I’ve also joined the Adelaide Committee, the Australian Health and Design Council and The South African Business Network of Adelaide – I’m committed to learning as much about the city and meeting as many new people as I can!”

Mark Claydon – Architect – Future Directions

Being part of an industry committee isn’t just a privilege for those most experienced – anyone, even those at the beginning of their careers, should be encouraged to explore opportunities available to them. A great example is Mark Claydon, a young architect based in our Western Australian studio, who has recently made the transition from Graduate of Architecture to Registered Architect but has already taken a position with the PCA’s Future Directions Committee in Perth.

The Future Directions Committee is for aspiring future leaders in the property industry, whose key focus is to develop an industry networking and professional development platform for young property professionals (under 35 years).

Mark has joined the committee as a way to kick start his career by networking with other future leaders in the industry.

“One of the biggest motivators for me in joining this committee is networking. But I don’t mean networking from a business perspective – I’m not there with the goal of winning new clients. For me, the networking opportunities are more about meeting other people in the industry, hearing their thoughts and gaining industry knowledge.

“I view my role on this committee as much about listening and learning as providing any insight I might have. Yes, I’m there to be a thought leader and put my opinions forward, but I also see it very much as way to learn; to listen to what other people have to say, to get a broader understanding of the industry and the issues and challenges others are facing. Being at the heart of these discussions will allow me to gain valuable insights which I can then share with my colleagues and clients.”

“When any of us from Hames Sharley take part in these types of committees, I believe we add the most value from a design perspective. In many ways, as architects and urban and interior designers, we hold a unique position between property owners and developers, as well the construction guys at the other side. Exposure to multiple parties as part of our day to day work allows us see things from all angles, giving us a uniquely holistic view.”

2020 Insights

Being involved in an industry committee isn’t just great for the CV; there’s so much more to it than that. No matter where you are in your career, if you’re someone who wants to make positive changes, not just in your industry but within your community, then joining an industry committee is a great way to do it.

We’ll be sure to check back in with Louisa, Leon and Mark before the end of 2020 and find out just what their committees were able to achieve during their two year terms.

Did you enjoy this article?