Meet your candidate Garrick Smith

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DEPARTMENT of Communities WA manager of complex projects Garrick Smith is one of the candidates seeking to be elected to the board of the Australian Property Institute (API).

Australian Property Journal spoke to Smith to find out why he is seeking to be elected to the API board.

Smith said he wants to assist in developing a professional board that understands and implement a strategy which benefits all members.

He added that he wants to ensure the Institute not only survives but expands its membership for future generations.

  1. What is your interest to come on board with the Australian Property Institute?

I have been a member of the API for more than 30 years and my career has benefited from the support of the Institute over that time. Although I contributed to the WA branch where I could, as we all know, time is a valuable commodity and the call of family and business were the priority in those formative years. In 2016 I decided that lack of time was no longer an excuse and I nominated and was successful in being elected to the API board.

My primary interest is to assist with the development a professional board that understands and can implement the “Members First” strategy for the benefit of all members.

My extensive experience in valuation, property development, business management and board experience has me ideally placed to make a valuable contribution to achieving the API’s outcomes.

I believe that it is the responsibility of the more experienced members to pass on the knowledge gained over their careers to assist younger members develop their skills in board management and ensure a continuity of professional management of the Institute.

I’m particularly interested in opportunities to deliver highly relevant educational content to ensure property practitioners are recognised as professional and leaders in the property field.

  1. What financial experience or expertise do you bring to the API?

I have been a member of the API’s Finance, Audit and Risk committee for the past three years and have a comprehensive understanding of the Institute’s accounts and finances. I have also previously held positions of treasurer and finance committee appointments on Not for Profit (NFP) and commercial boards. Over the years I have completed a number of courses run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors focusing on finance and understanding financial statements.

During my career in property I have undertaken the valuation of numerous licensed premises which entail the detailed analysis of the company accounts and likewise cash flow modelling and discounted cash flow techniques. In addition,I was Managing Director of a mid-sized business for 25 years and oversaw the financials during that time.

  1. What governance experience do you bring to the API?

I am a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) whose primary focus is corporate governance. As part of the AICD’s Continuing Professional Development requirements, I have completed a number of courses related to governance including one specifically tailored to requirements of the API.

Governance is a regular item on the agenda of the API Board where culture, delegated authority and reporting are continually a topic of discussion among the Board and Executive of the API.

Additionally, I was recently appointed the board of a dysfunctional property company with the specific aim of improving the governance and risk oversight on behalf of the joint venturers.

  1. What strategic planning experience do you bring to the API?

Given my previous board executive suite roles I have gained a high level of expertise in strategic planning in the commercial and NFP spheres. I have participated,and in a number of instances led, strategic planning workshops including the API’s Members First strategy.

Other examples comprised a strategic re-alignment of a struggling project home builder to transition into a more profitable market segment, the development of a strategy for a Catholic secondary college concentrating on a number of strategic factors including finance as well as setting the strategic direction for a large urban regeneration project with a 10-15-year development horizon.

It has been my experience that focus needs to be at the higher level and aligning strategy to the vision and objectives of the organisation. Once established the business plan will determine how the strategy is delivered.

  1. To further pursue API’s strategic direction, it would be of great benefit if prospective Directors could contribute advocacy, policy and/or digital communications experience to the Board. What is your experience in one or more of these areas?

I have been involved in several advocacy and policy setting issues. During the establishment of the RPV category of membership of the API, I was a member a working party that developed the West Australian position and successfully argued the case on behalf of WA members.

I am also currently working with the CEO’s of larger high-volume providers to clear up the ambiguity between the state licensing requirements and the various codes of conducted and the API’s membership categories.

On a broader state level, I have assisted in the development of the governments affordable housing package and Metronet precincts and value capture policies.

  1. In general, what can you bring to the API and why should members elect you?

It is my aim to ensure the professionalism and esteem of Institute members is recognised and rewarded.

I bring a wealth of board and property expertise to make a valuable contribution to the board composition and thereby the API’s members.

I am committed to real open and transparent governance and accountability and ensuring that the Institute not only survives but expands its membership for future generations.

I provide a good balance to the board composition.

Online voting is now open until 23:59 AEST on Thursday 17 May 2018. Members are encouraged to register and vote at https://www.api.org.au/news/meet-candidates-2018-api-board-elections

Australian Property Journal