National President’s Report

Introducing the new National President of the Australian Property Institute, Robert Hecek FAPI

The following is a message from the API's newly elected National President, Robert Hecek FAPI.

The API’s beginnings

The API was incorporated in 1926, as the Commonwealth Institute of Valuers. The inaugural meeting was held in an Adelaide hotel on the 5th November, 1926 with a total of 17 members. The meeting was chaired by the first President, Colonel A.C. Catt. Within six years, all of the states became affiliated, and the Institute became Commonwealth in character. We have had name changes over the years and the array of services has greatly expanded.

The API’s constitution was drawn up based on the membership of 1926, to meet the needs of the day. Today, 88 years later, we have some 8000 members. Our membership now includes residential, commercial, business, plus plant and machinery valuers, property analysts, investment advisors, property fund and asset managers, facility managers, lawyers, researchers, and academics. However, our structure and the constitution remain the same.

An evolving industry

The property industry today comprises an array of different professionals. We are in the era of enormous change, as we bear witness to increased efficiency, advancing technology and innovation. Our stakeholders, employers and partners have equally advanced technologies, but they require, and demand, a new level of efficient reporting, speed and quality.

We must embrace the fast-growing improvements in technology to remain relevant. Our members will progress by streamlining business practices, efficiency in the workplace, and the development of time saving processes. The industry has changed and will keep changing, and the API must evolve and restructure accordingly.

How do we keep the API abreast of rapid change?

We now have a united, strong National Board of Directors that is committed to driving change for all of the API members. The Board comprises:

Robert Hecek (President), Tyrone Hodge (Snr Vice President), Robert Smyth (Vice President), Andrew Cubbins, Justine Jacono, Mark Kay, Dennis Volk, Philip Western, Philip Willington, Nicolas van Beek (YPP representative), Chris Shaw (independent legal) and Geoff Knuckey (independent financial expert).

How do we deliver?

You have voted for the motions tabled at the AGM, which outlined the expectations of members and are also plans of National Council as a blueprint for the future.

The main points were:
1. Prepare a five year strategic plan in consultation with members/Divisional Councils
2. Prepare proposed amendments to constitution and by-laws by 2015 AGM
3. Appoint an independent accountant within 40 days and report in three months on cash flow, reserves, monies in trust, income and expenditure, and make report available to members
4. Arrange a governance and structural review; an independent/facilitated organisational review of existing structures, processes and systems. Make recommendations about the appropriate options to ensure the API is operationally aligned to the needs of members, particularly in relation to organisational structure, governance processes, vision and strategy.

The new Board has already proceeded with this mandate to seek prompt implementation of the points adopted and, in consultation with members and stakeholders, progress with a structured, strategic plan to streamline our organisation and move towards a modern constitution.

This will be a time of change and open governance. The Board is available to you, the members, at any time if you have any questions about the future plans of your Institute. What we build now will stand for another 88 years.

I thank you all for your support.

Robert Hecek
National President of the API

Biography

Mr Hecek joined the API as an associate in 1983, and became a Fellow in 2000. He formed valuation practice, Valuecorp, in 1980. He is passionate about the API members and the future of the Institute.

  • Elected National President on 29th May, 2014
  • Appointed API National Vice President, May 2012
  • Appointed to the Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee in its early beginning in 2003
  • Elected to NSW Divisional Council in 2006
  • Elected Vice President, NSW Division, in 2008
  • President, NSW Division, in 2009 and 2010 (two terms)
  • Formed and increased the function and relevance of the API Banking and Finance Committee, now the crucial place of interaction between API, LMI, and banks, all regular attendants of the Committee’s bi-monthly meetings
  • Member of the Marketing Committee from 2006 to 2009
  • Represented the API NSW in presentations to first year property students, property industry and Federal and State government leaders
  • Appointed Chair of Professional Indemnity Insurance Committee in 2008. Helped develop and implement Capped Liability Scheme (APIV). The scheme commenced December 2010, with Australian valuers the first in the world to have capped liability
  • Member of the Future Valuations Taskforce. Helped revise the Property Pro Supporting Memorandum, which is the basis of all reporting standards for residential valuations
  • Formed a new compulsory Residential Standing Instructions educational on line module to lift and improve the quality of report writing standards as required by all stakeholders
  • Completed and implemented Australian Banking and Finance Industry Residential Valuation Standing Instruction, the first of its kind for the Australian valuation industry.