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In this Edition

CEO report

I’d like to begin the final E-News for 2019 by saying thank you. Thank you to our contributors, stakeholders, members and councillors. This year has been filled with some major changes for Standards Australia and the support and contribution from each of you has been paramount to what has been a successful and innovative year.

We began 2019 with renewed focus, announcing Standards Australia would move beyond its single channel distribution. After 15 years this was an incredible win and meant the year was already shaping up to be both challenging and full of potential.

This announcement gave us the opportunity to consider how Standards Australia could become more open, strategic and proactive. First steps in the process involved the launch of our Techstreet Webstore and making our way around the country gaining feedback from those who use standards to understand how to effectively open access to our content.

As the year progressed and with innovation front of mind, we began our 2019/20 NEXTgen program, which saw 22 young professionals begin a 12-month journey of engaging with and learning about standards. We also engaged with industry to begin work on a range of projects including blockchain technology, smart cities and hydrogen.

It would not be possible to wrap up 2019 without mentioning the range of standards and similar documents published. Some notable publications included a first of its kind battery storage standard and a technical specification for Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP), which was completed in just 3 months. None of the over 150 standards published this year would have been made possible without our committed committee members.

Most recently and in what is a fitting end to the year, Standards Australia announced its new Distribution and Licensing Policy Framework. This policy will be a large focus for 2020 alongside the continued implementation of our Technical Governance Review.

With the new year just around the corner I’m pleased to reflect on all we have achieved alongside our supportive and engaged community. We look forward to the year to come in which we will strive for continued innovation and effectiveness.

I will be taking a short break over the New Year period that I’ll be spending with my family in Sydney. Whether you’re staying put or travelling, I wish you all enjoyable break and time to recharge before beginning what is looking to be a productive and busy 2020.

—Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer

Holiday season office closure

The Standards Australia offices will be closed from 3pm on Friday 20 December 2019 and reopen at 9am on Thursday 2 January 2020.

Standards Australia wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season.

Sizzling summer standards

The Australian Summer is an iconic part of the Aussie lifestyle but did you know that some of our favourite summer pastimes include a range of standards designed to keep us safe? They affect everything from the fans keeping you cool to your coolest pair of sunnies.

Read more in our media release.

Blockchain Standardisation

While still a relatively young technology, the use of blockchain is continuing to grow both in Australia and internationally – Standards Australia is playing a leading role in its standardisation.

Standards can help build confidence in the use of blockchain and promote the consistent and reliable use of this technology. Earlier this year, Standards Australia brought together a range of experts, relevant stakeholders and members of the public to discuss blockchain and its progress. We spoke with some of them and made a short video.

Celebrating the Australian building industry in the heart of the country

Recently representatives from Standards Australia attended the Master Builders Australia’s 2019 National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards at the breathtaking Uluru. Our Senior Stakeholder Engagement Manager Alison Scotland wrote about the event and her experience visiting the ‘red centre’.

“The awards night was held at the Field of Light, an exhibition of 50,000 luminous colourful spheres covering an area the size of nine football fields. Towering over us and the landscape was Uluru in all its natural beauty.

From a place of natural splendour, we contemplated man-made splendour. Celebrating the best of Australia’s construction achievements for the year, from commercial through to residential and everything in between.”

Read the full blog on our website

Standards in action

Sometimes it can be hard to visualise how standards work and how exactly they interact with the Australian community. That’s why Standards Australia has launched a range of case studies that explain what certain standards do across certain sectors.

Take toy safety in modern Australia for example, which outlines how AS/NZS 8124.6:2016, Safety of toys – Part 6: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use, aims to minimise the risk of harm and protect children under the age of 14.

The various case studies demonstrate how standards and similar documents interact and affect Australian communities. The toy safety case study and others can be found under the relevant sector on the Standards Australia website.

In Conversation with Kevin O’Connor

Kevin started with SOLA OPTICAL in Adelaide in 1972 at a time when the Australian company was rapidly growing its export business in spectacle lenses. His work in Australian and ISO standards started with the support of the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association (the peak industry body) and exposed him to the methodologies and new technologies used for lens manufacture around the world.

In 2000 Kevin joined the French based company Essilor who were becoming the global world leader in spectacle lenses. He has been in standards development for over 40 years, serving as an expert, delegation leader, committee member and project leader at both a national and international level.

Standards Australia (SA): How has standards development changed over your 40 years of service?

Kevin O’Connor (KO): Speaking from my experience in the fields of spectacle lens, sunglass and eye protection, both here in Australia and internationally, the process has been improved dramatically over the years.  

Today, the platform we have as committee members fosters a professional environment in which the best possible standards can be produced. Standards Australia has always actively embraced new technologies to help the processes of communication and decision making in committees.

At the ISO level, Standards Australia is well respected and can be described as a "best in class" National Body. The shift to managing our work more closely in alignment with ISO standardisation has been a very positive and useful step. More and more we are seeing our committee structures evolving to mirror those of ISO, which of course streamlines the communications and our effective participation in ISO committees.

SA: You’ve contributed to many spectacle lens and eye protection standards, what projects stand out to you?

KO: One highlight would be the Australian creation of the first national sunglass standard in the early 1970's (AS/NZS 1067). This standard led the way for the development of other national sunglass standards and ISO sunglass standards.

Another milestone was the unique creation of the first national standard for prescription eye protectors (AS/NZS 1337.6). Again, Australia gave strong leadership to other national and ISO committees for this important activity. In the prescription spectacles field, it gives me pride to know Australian delegates to the ISO committees have "punched above our weight" and have contributed significantly over many years to the excellent International standards in this field.

SA: Why do you believe international standardisation is important for your industry?

KO: Like many industries, those participating in providing eyewear to patients and consumers, benefit from having standards which provide certainty in terms of the expectation of product attributes and characteristics, including those related to safety.

To have good standards which are globally accepted and adopted means there are reduced costs of regulatory testing and in inventory management which ultimately benefits end-users – all good news for Australia's international trade.  

SA: What is the future of standardisation?

KO: I am very confident that standardisation will continue to grow its beneficial roles here in Australia and globally. We are fortunate to be well equipped with high quality leadership in Standards Australia and ISO, with a good level of expertise and commitment of committee members.

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.

Sector update

Access the latest standards development news in your industry sector via our Sectors page.

International update

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 December (PDF)

  • Proposal for IEC Project committee on Operation of electrical installations
  • Building resilient cities with new international standards
  • Report shows trade restrictions by WTO members at historically high levels