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Training Day: Adding value to emerging leaders

March 23, 2021

Have you wondered how standards impact your life?

For almost 100 years Standards Australia has had a clear focus of serving the community by delivering standards that add value to Australian communities, industry and government.

Standards keep our communities safe by providing guidance to manufacturers to create safe and effective products like children’s playground equipment and toys.

Standards empower consumers with knowledge by outlining requirements for clear labelling. This assists consumers in making an educated decision across a range of products such as choosing a sunscreen or when seeking an energy efficient dishwasher.

Standards support industry needs by providing guidance for the safe practice of process such as the publication of the Wiring Rules for the purpose of electrical safety.

Standards promote a stronger economy by reducing the barrier to trade by aligning guidance with international standards providing confidence within industry that manufacturers around the world are meeting the minimum requirements.

As an organisation we aim to deliver standards that keep our communities safe, build on our economic value and deliver standards that fit the needs within industry. Our mission is to educate the next generation of movers and shakers on how standards impact and add value to Australian life.

The NEXTgen Training Program
Standards Australia strives to be an active voice within the Australian community and a supporter of our next generation of innovators and leaders. In a step towards achieving this goal we developed an education initiative called, the NEXTgen Training Program.

The program selects emerging industry and technical experts and provides them with an exciting opportunity to become involved in the national and international standardisation processes. The education of our emerging leaders is important to ensure we are engaging with a range of different generations and encouraging them to leave a footprint in the world of standards.

In the first of its kind, the NEXTgen Training Program hosted a Bootcamp to the graduates of the Telstra Graduates Program which is now set to become part of the annual Telstra program.

Not your average Bootcamp
Last year, 15 of Telstra’s graduates from across Australia came together in a one-day NEXTgen Bootcamp intensive training program. The graduates spent the day in an interactive and online course learning about the governance of standards, the development process and a ‘behind the scenes look’ into how a committee is run.

The objective of the course is to provide insight to our young professionals about the world of standards and creating engagement on how they can be involved in making a difference to our communities with their contribution to standards.

Standards Australia talked with Sneha Kangralkar, Telstra Network Engineer Specialist and ex-graduate, about her experience in the NEXTgen Bootcamp Program.

Standards Australia: What interested you in joining the NEXTgen Bootcamp?
Sneha Kangralkar: I completed the Telstra Graduate Program five years ago and have since been working with Telstra. In my current role we work a lot with standards, as we are constantly designing new solutions in the mobile transport-network sector. Working with Mike Wood (Chairperson of the International Electrotechnical Commission and 2020 winner of the Standards Australia Meritorious Contribution Award – International) introduced me to Standards Australia. I started to gain an interest in standardisation and wanted to learn more.

SA: What did you think of the NEXTgen Bootcamp?
SK: I needed more than one day – I had so many questions! It was such an engaging program for being of a virtual nature and it was great to see so many faces from all over Australia. As it was during the COVID lockdown, it was nice to interact with other people who shared the same interest in standardisation. The Bootcamp was a great introduction into what standards development is, how standards add value to our communities, and I was able to gain further understanding into the governance of standards. These are all topics that are of interest given my work with Telstra and the way we operate as an innovative solutions-based organisation.

SA: What is the key takeaway you learnt from the program?
SK: A key learning I took away from the Bootcamp is that you don’t need to have industry experience or be an industry expert to become involved in the work of standards. After speaking with some of the graduates who were also participants in the program, we were surprised how easy it is and how accessible Standards Australia make it for people to become involved in standards. There are so many different pathways to how you can contribute in the standardisation process and I’m looking forward to being involved!

Start your journey in the world of standards
If you’re interested in becoming involved in standards development or hosting a NEXTgen Bootcamp for your organisation please email Lisa Osborne, for further information.

Lisa Osborne
Learning & Development Manager

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