Last month we held our Mid-Year Council meeting, which was an important opportunity to have discussions on our learnings from the last six months and to share our plans with our Members and Councillors for the second half of 2020.
It has been our practice over the last few years to align the announcement of our Standards Awards winners with our Council meeting. This year, in a first for us, we were unable to host our winners in person and thank them for their dedication, commitment and support to us and to the communities they serve.
These awards are an important opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the people and committees that go above and beyond in their standards development work in Australia and internationally. Despite not being able to thank them in person, it does not take away from their tremendous contribution and I would like to personally congratulate each one of our 2020 award recipients (outlined below).
As restrictions begin to ease and the country grapples with the concept of a ‘new normal’, I want to finish by saying thank you to all who have adapted alongside us during this time to help us continue to accelerate our reach and empower Australian communities.
—Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive
And the winners are…
Our annual Standards Awards recognise and reward excellence in standards development. This year’s winners are indicative of the high calibre of experts we work with every day in some truly innovative sectors as well as in the more traditional areas of standards development.
Our 2020 winners (pictured in order):
- W.R Hebblewhite Medal – Barbara Geens
- Meritorious Contribution Award (National) – David Eager
- Meritorious Contribution Award (National) – Nigel Wilmot
- Meritorious Contribution Award (International) – Mike Wood
- Emerging Leader Award – Rachelle Doyle
- Innovation Award – BD-014-02 Technical Specification for Labelling of ACP products
- Outstanding Committee Award – ME-005 Cranes
Read a profile on each of the above winners on our website.
Preparing buildings for workers post restrictions
When many Australians transitioned to working from home, buildings in our metropolitan hubs and regional centres were left empty and their heating, ventilating and cooling (HVAC) systems put into hibernation. As restrictions ease and workers return to the office, building systems must be considered as part of a safe return by building managers.
Read more in our recent media release.
Australia–UK FTA negotiations begin
Standards Australia has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Trade, the Hon. Simon Birmingham, on the commencement of formal negotiations between Australia and the United Kingdom on a future free trade agreement (FTA).
FTAs are underpinned and supported by harmonised standards that enable industries to compete in both markets.
Supporting an increase in cybersecurity
Standards Australia has joined with AustCyber and industry leaders and the NSW Government to support Australia becoming a more resilient nation in terms of cybersecurity.
A new task force, which met for the first time in mid-June, brings together leading experts from defence, energy, health, financial services, and the education sector.
Welcoming Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with India
The growing relationship Australia has with India has been bolstered following the agreement between the two nations on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Areas covered by this partnership agreement include research, cybersecurity, infrastructure, trade, education, logistics, defence science, and Indo-Pacific maritime issues.
Corporate Governance Review kicks off
Standards Australia has embarked on a review of the company’s Constitution and Membership Rules in consultation with cameron.ralph.khoury (CRK). The Board is committed to presenting recommendations for reform to the 2020 Annual General Meeting.
In conversation with Osama Ali
Osama (Oz) is a chartered professional engineer and Caterpillar’s Technical Advisor for product safety and compliance matters in the Australia-Pacific region. His formative experiences have included product design and development, product compliance management, and testing and validation of earthmoving equipment. Oz presently chairs the Construction and Mining Equipment Industry Group (CMEIG) Engineering Working Group.
Standards Australia: Why and how did you get involved in standards development?
Oz: I’ve been lucky to be involved with standards in one way or another throughout most of my career. When I look back, my experience of working with and around standards, including referring to them as a design engineer, developing and conducting conformity tests, and then coordinating global compliance for an earthmoving product portfolio, has been quite formative in leading me to standards development.
In my current role, I now have an opportunity to ‘give back’ to the industry by being directly involved in a committee. Why I’m interested in standards development is not just due to the opportunity to make a difference, but also the people you meet and relationships you build. Standards development is volunteer work and I’m humbled by the dedication of the folks who help write these industry consensus documents.
SA: What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver?
Oz: A project that particularly stands out to me is the development of AS 5327:2019, Earth-moving Machinery Access Systems, which was a modified adoption of ISO 2867:2011.Through an iterative process of consensus building, the working group was able to harmonise 6 often-disparate sources of guidance being used at the time in Australia into one consensus document – an exceptional example of industry collaboration. However, the journey isn’t over yet, we’re now using the work done during the development of AS 5327 to inform Australia’s position on the next revision of ISO 2867.
SA: How do standards and the work of your committee support the mining sector?
Oz: I’m very grateful to be part of a collaborative and energetic committee with broad representation from the mining sector. The committee is made up of regulators, mine operators, industry experts, equipment manufacturers, industry bodies and academia; it is fantastic to see these differing groups come together and develop documents that benefit the mining industry as a whole.ME-063, Earthmoving Equipment, plays a critical role in defining (predominantly safety-related) standards for earthmoving equipment. Safe, efficient operation and maintenance of that equipment is critical to the competitiveness of Australia’s mining sector.ME-063 has recently undertaken a broad-ranging portfolio refresh. We’ve removed about 60 aged standards and are now taking a three-pronged strategy of direct international adoptions, modified international adoptions where warranted, all while continuing to retain Australian benchmark standards. There are around 100 standards in this pipeline which will give the Australian mining sector a set of contemporary performance-based earthmoving equipment standards. I’d highly encourage folks to keep an eye on Standards Australia’s public commenting system and contribute their expertise and ideas as these earthmoving machinery standards make their way to the public comment stage.
We also understand that many Australian mining sector stakeholders don’t have subscriptions to international standards, so adopting relevant international documents for Australian purposes provides greater access to global best practice for Australian users.
SA: What is the future of standardisation?
Oz: At a committee level, COVID-19 has been a bit of an experiment on the future of standards development. Within ME-063, we’ve had some wins in using digital collaboration tools, and I believe we’ll add some of these to our toolbox even once the world returns to a ‘new normal’.
More broadly speaking, in the mining sector, Australia is a big user of earthmoving equipment meaning we have lots of experience to bring to the international table. It’s our role within ME-063 to facilitate greater Australian participation in future international standardisation activities.
Technical standardisation as an economic and social philosophy continues to make sense. We’re living through an era of rapid technological progress, and more specifically, digitalisation and automation, I believe these trends will play into the future of standardisation.
In terms of the format and style of standards, I think the long-term challenge is adapting to an environment where traditional paper standards are complemented by explanatory material, perhaps akin to how we now search for information on YouTube or Google. We also have to keep in mind that the next generation of leaders will have grown up in a world that’s always been digital. I’m sure standardisation will continue to evolve in light of some these considerations.
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 June edition (PDF)
- WTO report looks at standards and regulations notified by members in COVID-19 response
- New management system standard for oil and gas published
- Applying standards to the circular economy
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.