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Raising the standard for future leaders

May 14, 2021

Standards Australia hosted the NEXTgen Program 2020-21 Graduation Ceremony on Thursday 6, May 2021, with graduates joining from across Australia to celebrate their achievements.

The NEXTgen Program is an initiative led by Standards Australia with the key objective to educate emerging leaders on the impact standards have in Australia. Participants engage with experts to understand the need for continual standards development across a wide range of sectors.

A priority of the program is to promote diversity within standards. NEXTgen recognises and engages diversity, values, and utilises people’s varied professional backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to nurture and generate new ideas.

Standards Australia spoke with recent graduates Hilary Lai, Blake Mortimer, and Christina Green, about their experience participating in the NEXTgen Program.

Standards Australia: What did you enjoy most about the NEXTgen Program?

Hillary Lai: I got to work with a very diverse group of people and gained an in-depth knowledge of how standards are created and how they could be shaped into the future. I had the chance to meet people from different industries and had an experienced mentor who could share her knowledge and answer any questions, no matter how big or small. My employer, Clean Energy Council, is a nominating organisation for various committees. I was encouraged by my manager to participate in the NEXTgen Program in preparation for representing the Council.

Standards Australia: Why did you decide to become involved in the NEXTgen Program?

Blake Mortimer: Working as an Engineering Support Manager for Daikin Australia, I refer to standards daily to carry out my job. After attending several industry nominating group meetings, I developed a keen interest to understand the process as to how standards are developed and why. After completing the NEXTgen Program, I now have a better understanding of that process and can better interpret the standards I work with. I plan to put my knowledge to use in the Australian Standards committee I have recently joined.

Standards Australia: What would be your advice to people considering applying for the 2021-22 NEXTgen Program?

Christina Green: 100% do it! You will gain insights in communication, relationship building, building your own brand and effective negotiation. It’s been great learning about the development process of a standard and seeing how important the ‘people’ aspect is. A standard is only as good as the experts that provide input, so it’s vital that industry and academic stakeholders stay engaged.

Interested in boosting your professional profile by learning and working with some of the best in the business? If your answer is yes, apply now for the NEXTgen Program for 2021–22!

Visit the Standards Australia website and submit your application.

Kim Suter
Learning and Development Facilitator

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