The architecture profession in Australia has a new leader following the appointment of a new president to the sector’s leading industry body.

At its annual general meeting in Melbourne last Wednesday, the Australian Institute of Architects promoted David Karotkin as its 75th National President, taking over from Paul Berkemeier.

Having studied architecture at Curtin University, where he received his Bachelor’s degree and First Class Honours, Karotkin is managing director of Perth-based Architectural Consultancy Sandover Pinder – where he has worked since 1995 – and has been the Institute’s WA Chapter President for three years.

In addition to his work in Australia, Karotkin has worked in the United Kingdom, Israel and Asia on projects ranging from healthcare, education, law and order and community developments. He recently led Sandover Pinder’s expansion into the Indonesian healthcare industry.

Karotkin embraced his new role, saying he would work with his fellow councillors on strategic initiatives currently under development and would also promote a number of other issues including mandatory use of architects for the design of certain types of buildings and improved member engagement with the Institute.

He said the role of National President was part of a continuum involving terms as National Councillor, President Elect and Immediate Past President.

“I am honoured by the responsibility of representing our membership in this role and am dedicated to making a meaningful contribution throughout the year,” Karotkin said.

He paid tribute to his predecessor, commenting on Berkemeier’s advancement of issues such as gender equality and diversity and architectural education.

“Paul has been hugely valuable as a mentor and an advocate for the profession and his work in developing Australia’s bid for the UIA 2020 Congress is to be commended,” Karotkin said.

Former Victorian Chapter President Jon Clements has been appointed President Elect.