As the 2021/22 NEXTgen cohort near graduation, we’ve interviewed three participants to gain greater insight into their standards journey and how the Standards Australia NEXTgen program is helping shape their future.
Interested in learning more about NEXTgen? Applications are open for 2022/23 until 30 June 2022. Click here to find more detail and submit your application.
What do you do for work? How did you get into this role?
I’m a co-founder and CEO of Envirometrics.io, an environmental management software company. My background is primarily in ecology, but while studying Ecological Surveying Techniques at the University of Oxford, I felt there must be a better way to gather and manage environmental data. The University gave me funding to create a geospatial teaching tool; however, my interest was in supporting industry. I moved to Australia to pursue my PhD in Mining Rehabilitation at the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, which is when I started the company with a colleague in our spare time, and it is now my full-time role.
How do standards impact and interact with your industry?
HUGELY. Standards, both Australia specific and internationally in the environmental space are evolving at a rapid rate. The transition from fossil fuels to renewables will completely change how we mine and what we mine. In addition, people, organisations and governments are becoming more environmentally conscious, and we must develop standards to support all stakeholders.
What was your standards knowledge like before starting with NEXTgen?
It was something that I wanted to explore more deeply; everyone in my field has been exposed to ISO 14001. But, I didn’t know to what detail standards are connected, nationally and internationally, and I had no clue about the development process. I only knew it was something I needed to wrap my head around.
What has surprised you the most about standards development?
I was pleasantly surprised to see that stakeholder input is actively sought. It was also great to see how Standards Australia facilitate the process and ensure we stay on track!
What have been your key benefits and takeaways from the NEXTgen program?
The opportunity to observe a wide range of committee meetings was very beneficial, each one different with its own culture. It can be pretty daunting at first; many of the committee members are highly regarded and senior in their careers. However, your voice is valid, and I have had a pleasant experience where it is also supported and encouraged. I look forward to continuing my standards career.
What advice do you have for those considering applying to the 2022-23 NEXTgen program?
Go to as many committee meetings as possible. Figure out what sparks your interest. You have the opportunity to learn how to contribute to standards that can have lasting positive impacts. Everyone in the NEXTgen program and on the committees has been great, especially when answering my many questions! I highly recommend the program.
Read more about our 2021/22 NEXTgen participants:
Click here to meet Amrita Badhan
Click here to meet Reena Subramaniam
Click here to read more about Standards Australia’s NEXTgen program