Dear ILASA Members,

The position of ILASA president comes with the responsibility to continue to further the interests of the landscape architectural profession and I feel honoured to have been elected to serve for the next two years. Ida Breed has set a high standard for me to follow. I would like to highlight two major successes during her term as president, the ILASA 2016 Conference and the 2017 Awards of Excellence. These two events successfully brought landscape architects and allied practitioners in the green industry together from across South Africa to strengthen existing relationships and build new ones. The positive contribution of the two events to ILASA’s financial situation is also welcome and will ensure we can continue to serve our members well. On behalf of all our members I would like to extend a huge thank you to Ida for her leadership and considerable contribution over the last few years, especially the last two as ILASA president. Thank you Ida!

During Ida’s term the National Executive Committee agreed on a set of objectives that guide the institute programmes and projects. Together with the NEC I will follow through; with the promotion of the profession, by providing opportunities for continued professional development, and working on transforming our profession. The transformation of our profession should aim to be more inclusive and to better relate to the current and future needs of our members and those of the beneficiaries of our members’ collective work.

With the aim of promoting the profession we will explore opportunities for dialogue with government, particularly local government. The hope is to broaden the awareness of the crucial role of landscape planning and design for the long term well-being of individuals and communities  provided for by human settlement development. A second aspiration is that government with its goal of professionalising the state is encouraged to consider appointing professional landscape architects in key departments at national and provincial level and within the planning and design sections of local government. The NEC will continue to support SACLAP and the CBE on transformation strategies and with the DPW Schools programme; always pressing for bursaries for landscape architecture candidates.

I look forward to an exciting two years working with the NEC, the regional branch committees, ILASA members; and further with our green industry partners; SALI and SAGIC; and our built environment partners through the BEPG.

I would like to wish our members and partners a blessed festive season and a prosperous New Year in 2018.

Yours faithfully,

Eamonn O’Rourke

ILASA President