The opportunity to serve as ILASA President unexpectedly came my way and it gave me the chance to make a contribution to the profession in fields that I personally feel passionate about. I truly believe that people in the green industry share a passion for the environment, for life and living things in general and that they are willing to go beyond the call of duty to make a difference. I experienced this life-force in many of the regional and national events that I took part in. People are pressed for time in terms of family and work commitments but they want to give and make a difference. It is my hope that ILASA will take hands with several other green industry and environmental role players and that the impact of combined efforts will take us even further in reaching our shared goals.
Due to my own commitments to family and work, I chose to mainly spend my energies on the two national events within my presidency, the 2016 ILASA Conference and 2017 Merit Awards. These long standing rituals and traditions of our profession shape who we are as landscape designers and directs our future. How we configure these annual conversations with one another is worth contemplating to get the most out of these events in setting us up for a practice that we all believe in and value.
My presidency gave me insight into those who came before me that spent time and energy to build the profession, the industry and what we stand for today. I salute their efforts, as I salute the efforts of those currently selflessly serving on the committees to make a difference to landscape architecture in South Africa. I would like to thank existing and new committee members, people who serve on our secretariat and many individuals in the industry who supported me in my term and made my load lighter; a particular word of thanks to Eamonn O’Rourke and Eileen Bailey. I believe that ILASA is in their good hands and thank Eamonn for making himself available for the position as president; I believe ILASA will go from strength to strength.