The DIA is a national organisation with branches in six states. It is incorporated in Australia as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. Its professional members are shareholders in the organisation and have voting rights.
It is administered from a National Office in Victoria.
The focus and direct interaction for most members is at the state branch level. A state council (usually around ten people) is elected by the state membership. Each state council organises for the needs and interests of their local design constituency.
Each state branch appoints representatives to a national council – the board of directors of the Design Institute of Australia. The National Council oversees the direction of the organisation and addresses those issues of administration, policy, membership benefits, service delivery and promotion that require a coordinated national approach.
In addition, Practice Networks that address the interests of specific design disciplines also operate as sub-committees within state branches and, in some cases, are coordinated nationally.
‘If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you aren’t doing anything very innovative.’