Professional Architects Australia (PAA) is the union that represents architects, interior and landscape designers, students, and graduates in Australia.

About us


Professional Architects Australia (PAA) is the union that represents architectural workers around Australia. We're a collective of architects, graduates, and students, backed by a team of professionals to help us build a better industry.

As the registered union, we're able to represent you in workplace disputes, to enter your workplace when issues arise, and we have a seat at the table when the Architects Award is reviewed. We're also granted the ability to bargain on behalf of workers when enterprise bargaining agreements are reviewed.

Though this is uncommon within architecture, we'd like to see that change, and we have the experts ready to see this through. For more details about what we do, see here. PAA is led by the committee elected from and by our members in order to represent our interests and give direction to the union. As architectural workers themselves, the committee members are well aware of the strengths and weaknesses of our profession and the changes we'd like to see. 

The committee is supported by industrial officers who provide expertise in dealing with workplace and industry issues. PAA is part of the Professionals Australia (PA) network of unions which represents over 20'000 members across the country including engineers, scientists, and pharmacists. This means we have access to an excellent team of staff with a range of specialties around workplace issues and industrial advocacy.
OUR GOALS
Fairness in the workplace
By providing expert advice and support, we ensure members are always aware of their rights and can get help when we need it. If you have any concerns about your pay, conditions, or any other workplace issue, we're here to support you.

A sustainable career
We're all well aware of the negative impacts caused by unrealistic deadlines and undercutting fees. In the end, it's too often that we lose precious personal time at the cost of relationships and our own health. PAA want real change starting with the enforcement of existing rights to be paid for overtime.

A strong collective voice
PAA has a seat at the table for key moments in determining the conditions for architectural workers. Members add their voice and their support to our campaigning efforts and strengthen our ability to advocate for change.

A diverse profession
Many of these issues are ultimately creating an industry that filters out primary carers, people with differing family and cultural backgrounds, and disabled workers. By dealing with key cultural and legal issues, we'd like to see our profession reflect better the diversity of the society for which we're designing.
OUR ROLE IN THE INDUSTRY
There are many players in the industrial landscape, all of which have distinct but sometimes overlapping goals. Professional Architects Australia (PAA - that's us!) is the registered union that represents workers' rights within the industry. We lobby for change that will protect workers' health, our work-life balance, and allow us to have sustainable careers.

The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) is the industry body. Their focus is on lobbying to promote architecture as an industry within Australia. Though often we see discussions around workplace issues hosted by the AIA, it does not have the ability to represent workers' issues or deal with these disputes and this is not the purpose of the AIA. The Association of Consulting Architects (ACA) is the employer body, representing the interests of employers during discussions around the award etc.

The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) is the national voice for architect registration boards around Australia. Their concerns are around the education and registration process for architects in Australia."
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