Last week, I was pleased to announce the appointment of two new General Managers (GM) to the Standards Australia Executive team. Emma Lowes, as GM of People and Performance, and Stefan Savva, as GM of Commercial and Products, join the existing Executive team to deliver greater value, support and service to our contributors and customers.
In the midst of the current health and economic emergency, Standards Australia is investing heavily in the future. New platforms, services, products, and organisational capabilities are being developed to ensure we can meet the expectations and demands of stakeholders for solutions that enable the community today and tomorrow. Success means that we are making an even bigger, positive impact on Australian life, trade, amenity and community and connecting Australia to the international standards bodies that are so critical to our global trade and economic sustainability.
Recently, Standards Australia has completed a number of major standards projects that are particularly noteworthy. Last month we published a new edition of AS 4100, Steel Structures. This standard is integral to construction in Australia and I would like to thank the committee and our staff for their work in completing this substantial revision.
We were also very pleased to publish our Smart Cities Roadmap which will support an integrated, safe and sustainable roll out of smart cities technology and infrastructure across Australia.
We are operating in a more complex and challenging environment, but I remain excited about the new era for Standards Australia and our ability to continue to deliver trusted solutions in smarter, quicker and more efficient ways.
—Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive
Standards Australia expands executive team
This week Standards Australia was pleased to announce an expanded executive team to support the growth of Australia’s national standards body as it accelerates its transformation program. As a result of these changes, Standards Australia’s Executive Team will comprise:
Adrian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer
Kareen Riley-Takos, General Manager Operations
Adam Stingemore, General Manager Engagement and Communications
Emma Lowes, General Manager People and Performance
Stefan Savva, General Manager Commercial and Products
Revised steel standards of support industry
Over 5 million tonnes of steel is produced in Australia annually, with a large portion of this steel utilised by the fabrication industry to build critical infrastructure across the country. From bridges to buildings, the updated AS 4100:2020, Steel Structures and amended AS/NZS 5131:2016, Fabrication and Erection of Steel Structures aims to provide the steel sector with minimum requirements when dealing with steel structures.
On the road to safe, sustainable and smart cities
From regional townships to bustling metropolitan hubs, our towns and cities are becoming more connected. According to a recent report 21 percent of local Australian governments are piloting Smart City projects. To further support the growing number of projects Standards Australia has released its Smart Cities Standards Roadmap.
Customers coming first
This year has seen us work toward an even greater investment in our customer experience, and we are pleased to have now launched our customer service charter. This charter supports our commitment to upholding the highest standard of customer service excellence and provides you with information on how we will achieve this.
And our NEXTgen are…
Congratulations is in order for our 2020/2021 NEXTgen participants. The program promises to equip the group with the skills to one day contribute to standards development.
Our 2020/2021 participants are: Alan Huynh, Sach Goonewardena, Thomas Karjinovic, Blake Mortimer, Naomi Stringer, Chun-Man Tsui, Pouya Abtahi, Hilary Lai, Mark Rawlings, Richard Machet, Christina Green, Jason Collins, Glenn Springall, Gustavo Chamusca, Sanika Willard, Vasos Alexandrou, Barbara Iordanidis, Meysam Omidbeike, Matthew Vertudaches, James Field.
In a time when so many of us are relying on digital platforms, we have been working to improve our contributors' digital experience through significant updates to Connect.
Most recently, we have integrated our Standards Development Public Portal (SDPP) into Connect, made our new Balloting Module live and added a function for contributors to email fellow committee members.
For more information on any of the above please reach out to your Project Manager.
Learn more with Academy
We want to say a thank you to the around 650 of you who have attended our Academy workshops over the last year. With such great attendance, why stop now? We have a range of up and coming workshops including:
- Facilitating standards development – 9 September and 3 November
- How to write and Australian Standards Australia – 10 October and 18 November
- Roles and responsibilities of Nom Orgs – 10 September and 4 November
Commissioning fee for AS/NZS IDTs waived
In May 2018 Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand agreed to implement a 12 month pilot where the commissioning fees for joint Standards development projects for the Identical (IDT) Adoption of ISO and IEC Standards would be waived.
Due to the benefits realised and the positive feedback received from stakeholders, Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand have now agreed to operationalise this pilot into a business as usual practice.
Read more in our recent statement.
In Conversation with Simon Croft
As Executive Director – Building Policy at Housing Industry Association (HIA), Simon is responsible for overseeing HIA’s extensive involvement in relevant building codes, Standards Australia committees and manages the Building Services team nationally.
Simon has oversight for HIA responses to governments on relevant building policy issues that affect residential building work and building practitioners, particularly on issues such as energy efficiency regulations, accessibility, building products and building certification reviews.
Simon previously worked for the Australian Building Codes Board and has over 18 years’ experience working in the building and construction industry. Simon has a broad range of building and construction qualifications in fields of building, building surveying, project management and training and is a qualified carpenter.
Standards Australia (SA):How did you get involved in standards development?
Simon Croft (SC): My first interactions with Australian Standards started when I was an apprentice carpenter back in Melbourne in the early 2000’s, learning the ins and outs of AS 1684 (timber framing) at trade school. From there, I regularly interacted with standards both through owning my own business and training future carpenters, builders and draft persons on codes, standards and legal obligations at TAFE. All of the above was great experience in learning the practical side of applying technical standards in real world situations. The insight it brought me has been invaluable when helping draft standards as a committee member and subsequently as a manager of staff on numerous committees.
The first Standards Australia committee I participated on was when I took up a role with the ABCB as a Project Manager in 2012 – the project was the revision of the roof tiling standard AS 2050. Over subsequent years I have been involved in a substantial number of Committees primarily related to Australian Standards referenced by the National Construction Code (NCC) applicable to residential buildings.
I currently oversee HIA’s extensive involvement on standards committees; presently my team sit on 30+ standards committees, which translates roughly to just over 100 standards.
SA: As a committee member, what is a project you’re particularly proud to have worked on?
SC: Each revision, amendment or new version of an Australian Standard has its own challenges and matters to overcome. As such, reaching consensus and publication of any standard is an achievement that all committees should be proud of.
In my role I get to sit on or oversee the development of several important standards effecting the built environment. These include AS 3959:2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas AS 1428.1-2009Design for access and mobility, Part 1: General requirements for access, AS 3740-2010 Waterproofing of domestic wet areas and a number of wind loading standards and material standards.
From time to time, we have also been involved in other projects such as the labelling technical specifications, battery standard, WHS standards and various other industry projects. Having worked on so many projects that assist Australian communities it is hard to pick just one as a stand out!
SA:With coronavirus affecting many industries across the country, what are some of the challenges being faced by the building and construction sector?
SC: Fortunately, Governments have acknowledged that building is an essential service and building sites have been able to stay open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – though with different working practices and strategies in managing sites.
During the first wave of COVID-19 restrictions and the subsequent lockdown, HIA and our members adopted a set of industry guidelines and systems to help builders, trade contractors and suppliers stay safe on a building site. This included a limit of workers on site and scheduling of work, ensuring social distancing and other government requirements were being adhered to. We have also been providing support for the industry through our release of resources since March such as the ‘making space on site guidelines’.
SA: What is the future of standardisation?
SC: With the move to virtual meetings, standards committee work has looked a lot different and from my perspective and that of HIA, this is a move that has been embraced by committee members. The change means there are time and cost saving benefits and has seen the productivity of committee work increase with which more targeted meetings and outcomes. Anecdotally, attendance levels in meetings have increased with few apologies to meetings. I am also a Standards Australia Councillor and our last meeting and first ever one held virtually had the highest attendance recorded for a council meeting with 80+ people videoing in. Going forward it is likely that many organisations will move completely to virtual participation in standards work when restrictions are lifted in future.
Given the release in late 2019 of the new Standards Australia Distribution Framework we are also likely to see number of new opportunities in terms of distribution and a shift to more digital friendly standards.
An example of the opportunities that the new framework offers, was the recent joint initiative of Standards Australia and the Federal Government to open access to the bushfire standard, AS 3959. This was done to assist in the rebuilding process and minimising barriers to access the rules for building in bushfire prone areas following the devastating 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires. It has been a welcome moved by all those I have spoken to and is an example of what can be achieved in the future for standards.
Standards Australia represents Australia on the two major international standards development bodies, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Our activities are reported on our International Updates page.
Highlights from August (PDF)
- WTO Members stress role of IP system in fighting COVID-19
- International Workshop Agreement on the Safety, Security and Sustainability of Cannabis Facilities and Operations
- Setting standards for the future of quantum computers
Access the latest standards development news in your industry sector via our Sectors page.
Drafts open for comment
The public comment process provides an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to make valuable contributions. View draft standards currently open for comment.