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In this Edition

CEO Report

Those who have been following Standards Australia’s journey in recent years will be aware that we are focused on transformation and innovation to add greater value to the Australian community and make it easier for our contributors to work with us.

We have many initiatives underway and, as we are now halfway into 2023, I think it’s timely to reflect on what we have already delivered this year and outline what we have coming up.

A major initiative now in place is our new alternative path for standards development. This streamlined process aims to accelerate the development of new Australian Standards and international standard adoptions, to help us and those that we work with keep up in new and emerging areas. New standards under this model are in train, and we anticipate the first release by the end of the year. This program parallels the work already being done in other areas of national and international standards development to make sure that our systems, processes and people are focused on results that meet community needs.

On the innovation front the big callout for me is our new mobile app, which we want to bring to market by the end of 2023. This will change the game for users who need access to standards to be able to do their jobs on work sites and out in the field all across Australia.

The mobile app model will deliver natively digital content and at wholesale price points that haven’t been seen before. The initial feedback has been excellent. This mobile-only service overcomes the limitations of PDFs, and is intended to boost safety, productivity, compliance and convenience for users, while also reducing the price they pay for standards publications.

As a second point of innovation, I want to call out the work being done across many sectors to make sure that our standards remain up to date and relevant – and that we’re supporting our stakeholders through their own industry transitions.

Our team is committed to supporting all industry sectors - understanding that the plans, work and outcomes differ across sectors. The common theme is the need to make sure our standards are fit for purpose. Sitting at the core of this is a level of trust. The maintenance and extension of this trust is a key focus of mine.

Most will have noticed the rapid uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) in the past six months, with applications like ChatGPT becoming widely used. Standards Australia has been working in the AI space for some time, and in March we announced our partnership with industry and science groups to launch the world's first cross-ecosystem program to assist Australian industry to use AI responsibly and safely. The Responsible Artificial Intelligence Network (RAIN) is coordinated by CSIRO's National AI Centre, and complements our unique work to create and adopt standards in this area.

The latter half of the year is shaping up to be just as energetic. In September we will host the 2023 ISO Annual Meeting in Brisbane.

This event is an amazing opportunity to showcase our expertise to the world and demonstrate our leadership in developing and delivering trusted standards solutions. Great minds from around the world will congregate to give voice to important issues that will shape our future.

We are also preparing to launch our latest accessibility initiative, the Reader Room, which is currently in pilot. Designed to give access to Australian Standards for personal or household use, Reader Room will provide limited, no-fee access to the entire catalogue of Australian Standards for non-commercial purposes. Stay tuned for more on this in the coming weeks.

Standards Australia is also piloting its own AI model to provide customers and end users with a much better capacity to search, find and interrogate standards. This is something to look out for in 2024.

You can find more information about all of these initiatives on our website.

We planned for 2023 to be a year of achievement, and we have already accomplished so much. I look forward to working with all our stakeholders to deliver on our important and ambitious goals over the next six months, and into 2024.

Dynamic data and digital tool gives users a pulse check on CET standards

A new dashboard tool from Standards Australia will let users keep their finger on the pulse of Critical and Emerging Technology (CET) standards from around the world, providing real-time data on key standards as quickly as they evolve.

How standards help keep Sydney Harbour Bridge climbers safe

Over the past 24 years, BridgeClimb Sydney has maintained an impressive record with a relentless focus on safety - and the support of standards.

See how BridgeClimb Sydney leverages standards to help keep climbers safe and operations running effectively.

NEXTgen Program 2023

Get ready to boost your career with Standards Australia's NEXTgen program!

Nextgen is a free 10-month professional development experience that can upskill your CV, ignite your standards knowledge, and forge invaluable industry connections

Click here to apply for the 2023-24 intake.

If you have approximately 5 to 7 years industry experience, NEXTgen might be the program for you.

In Conversation with Peter Nichols

Peter Nichols is an Honorary Research Fellow at CSIRO, and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Tasmania. As an esteemed researcher with more than 40 years of experience in various fields, including lipid technology, environmental applications, and oils with health benefits. Peter has made notable contributions to chemical signature analysis in microbial ecology, environmental and food-chain studies, and advancements in marine biotechnology. Peter collaborates closely with Australian and international universities, mentoring numerous PhD students and engaging in international research collaborations.

When did you first become involved in standards development?

Throughout my career since the 1970s, I've been familiar with Australian Standards. My introduction to these standards regarding oils came from my New Zealand colleague, Laurence Eyres, about six years ago. Laurence played a role in developing the Australian Standard for olive oil. Over nearly four decades, I've collaborated with the Australian and New Zealand industries on marine oils, including those derived from marine fishes, deep-water sharks, and other sources. Examples include fish oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as shark liver oils (SLO) containing key components like Squalene and Diacylglyceryl ether (DAGE).

However, an issue arose within the Australian industry where many imported SLO and Squalene products were incorrectly labeled as Australian-made. The existing standards did not cover Australian Squalene and SLO, as confirmed by discussions with the TGA, ACCC, AMCL, and other relevant bodies.

During the drafting and preparation process for these standards, the assistance provided by Standards Australia staff was invaluable. Richard Reyes and Jennifer Hayden, in particular, displayed consistent leadership, excellent guidance, and tremendous support to the CS119 committee throughout the Standards Australia drafting process.

How do standards impact and interact with your industry?

As noted above, the Australian Squalene and Shark liver oil did not have an Australian Standard.  Overseas products were being falsely marketed and sold in Australia and overseas as Australian sourced and manufactured.  Unlike the genuine, sustainably sourced Australian Squalene and shark liver oil, many of the overseas products are derived from unsustainable fisheries.  

These issues were the major drivers for the application submitted to Standard Australia to draft such standards for use by the Australian industry and key agencies and bodies. The olive oil model was also of great assistance to the committee members of CS119 through the Standards Australia drafting process.  

Why is access to standards important?

Access to Australian Standards was seen as a necessary step to assist the Australian industry to be able to provide genuine, sustainably sourced and manufactured Australian Squalene and shark liver oil products to consumers, both domestically and internationally.  

What is the future of standardisation in your area of work?

The new Australian Standard developed by the Standards Australia Committee CS119 for Shark liver oil and Squalene is intended to be used by industry and consumer bodies to help ensure authenticity of genuine Australian products. The ability of the Standard to distinguish oils based on provenance would also have potential wider application both nationally and internationally with other natural products.

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.

Click here to view our highlights from June (PDF):

• Sustainable raw materials: New work item proposal

• Recent ISO and IEC governance meetings

• UN Digital Compact deep dive on AI: Standards are part of the solution

Sector Update

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. Draft standards currently open for comment are now available via Connect.