WA President Report
We ended this financial year in a very different place to where we started it.
30 June 2021 is a big contrast to 1 July 2020. We rose to the occasion, and now we want to raise our profession.
In our first year with a National CEO and back- end office support, we find SCA (WA) giving better value for members and operating efficiently with the right resources. Alisha and the national team are supporting WA well, and SCA (WA) is better for this arrangement.
The WA team worked very hard for our members by increasing education offerings, working around lockdowns, engaging with new technology, creating recordings, and without an office for the end part of the year.
A Year in Review
During the year, we welcomed our new team members.
Lisa Kneebone joined us in August 2020 as our Stakeholder Engagement Officer to strengthen the engagement with our sponsors and members, and Shaan Griffen joined us in September as our Member Services Assistant to service our members and general enquiries. Theresa Boylan joined us in September as our Education Manager to develop new course material working together with Samantha Parrotte, who joined us in November 2020 as the Events and Communications Officer the week of our Annual Convention and Awards Dinner and has been keeping our event program going.
To expand our advocacy and policy work, Wendy Caccetta joined SCA (WA) as our part time Media and Public Relations Officer in May 2021. Already in her short time with us we have increased our media and policy footprint.
Additionally, our Legal Affairs and Public Policy Committee engaged Lavan to develop a range of member legal guides and templates, and for efficiency we upgraded and transitioned our IT systems over to the national online programs to build consistency and enable more access for our members to other state-based programs and education.
SCA made a decision to increase the quality of training and work together with registered training organisations to deliver the Certificate IV in Strata Community Management. After advocating a case for change, nationally we have received acceptance for a new upgraded qualification and the re-write begins shortly by national.
The Education committee invited members to play a key role in the future of strata. Those who were passionate about education and training were invited to participate in our Ignite Program where SCA (WA) will fund the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment for up to seven members to become qualified trainers.
After surveying members on the education required, in person events were scheduled. We had some cancelled due to lockdowns, but most went ahead successfully. The board took the decision to decrease member training costs to the bare minimum while the COVID-19 crisis continues and run our events at cost for our members. This led to an increase in members attending events to support their professional development and also growth in the number of accredited members.
SCA WA Convention & Awards Night
On the 20th of November 2020, the CHU SCA (WA) Convention and Awards Night was held at Crown Perth. Despite a challenging year, attendance was outstanding and we received great feedback from the event.
In keeping with the challenges the year presented, the theme of the event was Transform and attendees learnt how to become more agile and effective in the changing strata landscape.
I would like to congratulate all of the winners, runners up, and finalists for making this year especially difficult for our judges. I would in particular like to congratulate Home Integrity for going on to win the Strata Services Business Award at the 2020-21 SCA Australasia Awards in Adelaide.
Strata Management Practice Standard Certification
SCA (WA) was also proud to acknowledge additional companies which achieved Strata Management Practice Standard Certification.
Abode Strata and Dominion Strata Management have developed and adhered to documented internal processes, which are implemented to improve both client satisfaction and internal business processes.
We look forward to welcoming more strata management companies to this certification.
The Year Ahead
Publishing and media will be key for the year ahead with a focus on drawing readers to the SCA (WA) website as a source of reliable strata news and information. Articles published on the website and promoted through the social media channels have started with a reaction to the Miami apartment collapse and a warning about the importance of 10- year plans and maintenance in WA; and social media also broke the story of the about-to-launch Landgate support line.
RAISING OUR VOICE
With the close partnership with national we have upped our advocacy game and made meaningful progress in many areas. We have advocated on issues important to the WA strata industry, nurtured relationships with key State and local government departments and organisations and built on the SCA (WA) brand.
In July 2021, we had the first of what will be quarterly meetings with Landgate. It is hoped these regular meetings will build a stronger working relationship between SCA (WA) and the government authority. The meeting occurred just days before Landgate started a long-sought after consumer strata support line, which was one of our key election priorities.
SCA (WA) is also preparing a submission for Landgate on the effect of the Amended Strata Titles Act, the biggest changes to our strata laws in two decades.
The document, which is based on member feedback collected in a survey in July 2021, is aimed at giving Landgate important information about how the amended laws are performing in the field.
A series of meetings has also been held at the Minister for Lands office, the Minister for Commerce’s office, and the Minister for Transport's office at which representations were made on a raft of issues including the licensing of strata managers, the need to improve consumer protection for building defects, the need to regulate waterproofing and concreting trades and the high cost of insurance in Northern Australia.
We have also been lobbying the State government for changes to the manner in which the Perth Parking Levy is billed. The law currently requires non residential bays within the Perth Parking Management Area be licensed. Strata title properties are currently deemed a single property which means the bill is sent to the strata plan, not the lot owner, potentially meaning all owners could have to pay the levy in a mixed use building, rather than just the commercial owners.
Approaches have also been made to the WA Health Department and WA government ministers seeking urgent guidelines for managing COVID-19 in strata complexes, which has become increasingly more dire as the deadly Delta variant takes hold on the East Coast.
On a happier note, I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the East Metropolitan Zone of the WA Local Government Association about all things strata. The meeting was attended by Councillors and chief executive officers from the towns and cities of Bassendean, Bayswater, Belmont, Kalamunda, Mundaring and Swan. It is hoped similar talks can be held with representatives of local governments in other areas.
For our profession to grow and evolve, standards need to be established, maintained and improved. The Strata Industry is no different, and our newly aligned accreditation programs, which are available with no administration fee, will set the standards that ensure professionalism across the industry.
Whether we have new members in Strata or they have been operating for years, there is a new clear, distinct pathway for them. Each program is designed to help you build their careers and demonstrate their expertise.
Owners will transition from fee paying members to free subscribers to allow for more precise messaging.
We have started to offer free strata starter sessions for owners along with at cost committee training and other owner forums are planned throughout the year.
We are excited to see many new initiatives coming with our national subscription levies which will provide extended value to our members including the strata insurance advocacy following the release of the Deakin University Research Report, a Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) project for those who want to make a difference within their workplace and support strata communities, a new Inside Strata magazine and online platform, the Mentoring Program to partner our members with other strata professionals all across Australia, a Strata Workforce Competency Framework, and the Thrive at Work partnership with Curtin University to build a resilient strata workforce.
Lastly, it’s heartening to see committee and board members volunteer their time and considerable knowledge year after year for the good of the industry. Volunteering makes the strata world go round and the association work better for the members.
On behalf of SCA (WA), and the wider strata community thank you all.
SCA (WA) President