The theme of this years’ NAIDOC Week was ‘Heal Country’. I take time out to reflect on what this means, following a trip to the Northern Territory.
Reflections on Mental Health
In June, I completed the 2021 Push Up Challenge, which is aimed at raising funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, with specific support for Lifeline and Headspace.
Covid-19 has changed how I do business
Covid-19 has changed how I do business more than I ever expected. It is obvious that the ramifications of Covid 19 have been far-reaching and significant to everyone. In many cases for many people, they have been traumatic, devastating and tragic for personal and business reasons.
I started a new business in March 2020, a week before Queensland went into lockdown. I started this business in a city where I was unknown so on top of Covid, I was starting a new business in a new city, where no one really knew me. All of this meant that I needed to establish a business during and post Covid, let alone grow a business. I am thrilled that the establishment has happened and that my business is indeed growing.
I have decided to work from home. The risks with Covid, now and unforeseen, assisted in my decision to avoid commercial premises, or employment of staff, at this stage. I realise that this has its pitfalls and is very different to my experience as a Director of a large regional practice with three offices and staff/resources at hand.
So how do I stay on top of it all? Well, I surround myself with a team of collaborators and experts, of different scale and experience, to allow me to provide high-quality services to my clients. Whatever happens, and in whatever shape my business is, it is the maintenance of my own self-instilled high standards, and exceeding client expectations, that drives me.
I have had to change the way that I work with my remote ‘team’ as well as processes associated with how I present and obtain information. I’m mindful of the additional clarity that I need with the information I issue or request. The time to prepare and receive information has increased, along with checking, and has placed more emphasis on project programming to ensure on-time delivery.
My social and personal health is a factor, as I don’t have the day-to-day physical interaction with staff. Phone calls and Zoom meetings now replace face-to-face discussions. I now meet at the premises of clients or consultants, or in local cafes.
Whilst I am not sure what the post-Covid ‘new norm’ will be, I love what I do and will embrace the changes required, to always give my business the best chance I can for success.
The fine line around Development
What is the best solution for proposed developments in existing communities? The answer is not black and white, but the result must be a positive change. We explore the fine line around development in this opinion piece.
Prompted by a recent media article regarding a new residential tower overshadowing existing traditional houses, we have considered this matter further – it is an issue that continually raises its head and causes debate.
Two sides of the development coin
There are generally two sides – those supporting the proposed and those in the existing community that feel the proposed development will have a negative impact on the immediate surrounds.
We are the custodians of the land for a comparatively short time. The property has had a long history which will continue into the future. All parties need to respect the site, independent from any proposed development.
There are many issues to be considered. How does the development comply with the objectives and constraints of Council planning regulations? Are there State government compliance requirements? What impacts are there on traffic?
Does it overshadow existing dwellings, at what time of the day does this occur and for how many hours? Will the new development result in other loss of amenity, such as privacy, or will it create noise and glare issues?
Are there Traditional building considerations? Is the site in the Council Traditional building Overlay area? Are houses in the street pre-1946 or pre-1911, which will have an impact on what new development is permissible?
From the pro-development aspect, the cities need to grow and commercial projects need to contribute to their community, whilst having an appropriate return on the risk and investment. The proposed development may result in desirable commercial space or housing, such as Specialist Disability Accommodation or Affordable Housing.
Seek the best solution
All issues need to be considered very carefully. As Architects, we need to be reasonable and provide the best possible solution for our clients. However, this must not be at the absolute detriment to the site, the adjacent properties, the immediate location or the region.
Any development needs to respect the abundant complex factors. There is never a black and white result: there will always be a compromise.
Talk to Alchemy Consulting about your development projects and allow us to demonstrate how we will provide highly professional services incorporating creative and considered solutions.