Nick McDonald-Crowley is a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute (API) and former API National President.
He recently made the decision to retire from National Council and spoke with Kelli Wells about his reasons why.
How long did you serve on the API National Council?
I went on to Divisional Council in the ACT in 2003. I was appointed onto the National Education Board (NEB) in 2004 and was present at the now infamous Coogee planning session (in my role as a NEB member). I was then elevated to National Council in 2009 and I was jettisoned to the role of Senior Vice President that same year.
Where are you working now?
I work as the Business Development Manager for Construction Control, a Canberra-based construction and development company that strives to (and does) deliver quality construction in a cost effective timely and efficient manner.
Why did you decide to retire from National Council?
I made the decision for a range of reasons, including the fact that my role with Construction Control needed more attention. For the four years that I was on National Council I was on the executive as Senior Vice President, President or Immediate Past President, so my time commitment was very high. My family commitments also warranted me to spend more time in Canberra.
What initiatives are you most proud of during your presidency?
Promoting the ‘One API’ concept that was conceived prior to joining the National Council was my strongest goal and I think the association has come a long way in that regard. The need for constitutional change was something that I, along with others, identified.
I had been on other association boards where it was clear that laws and regulations around those associations had changed. The API was and is in a similar situation and the newly elected executive have a magnificent grasp of that. It was also a pleasure to attend every major conference around the country, and I attended the board meeting and/or state conference of every Division during my term as President. The calibre of the staff that work for the API was one of the most significant aspects of our association that I observed, and meeting and getting to know all of these people was a real highlight for me.
What are some of the initiatives that have been responsible for moving the API forward?
The implementation of the CMS was a very challenging component of my time as National President. The decision to move to a centralised contact management database had in fact been made prior to my elevation on to National Council. A considerable amount of my time as President was spent overseeing its implementation. I firmly believe that it was the best thing for our association, notwithstanding some of the frustration of working with the new system.
I was also very pleased that during my term we significantly decreased the complexity of our financial holdings and worked with all Divisions. There is now a national budgeting system with a set of consolidated accounts that the National Council and National Finance Board can easily and regularly review.
What other ideas could you see as being beneficial to the API in the medium to long-term future?
My greatest desire for the Institute is to see national co-ordination of our education and CPD programs. There are so many excellent and educational courses and that are rolled out by each Division, but so much of the intellectual property remains locked up in individual states and does not disseminate itself around the country. I also see massive capability for the IT platform to deliver some of these programs. We are blessed with our CIO, and he has done a marvellous job in recent years increasing the profile and functionality of the web and other platforms around the country.
How is the future looking for the API, and for the property industry?
I am an optimist at heart, and so I see plenty of blue sky for both the API and the property industry. As a national association we need to keep our eye on the big picture, which is delivering quality services to our members around the country, and give them the best advantages possible in their professional education in an increasingly complicated property market.