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In this Edition

CEO Report

May has seen Standards Australia celebrate many important events.

Last week, we hosted the Standards Awards.

The Standards Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding and innovative contributions of experts and technical committees in the development of Australian and international standards. There are more than 5,000 contributors who work with Standards Australia in the development of standards and trusted solutions, and their work and ongoing commitment is greatly appreciated.

The Awards were held in person for the first time in three years and it was wonderful to meet face-to-face after the last two years of travel restrictions.

While in Melbourne for the Standards Awards, we hosted our Members Forum.

The forum gave us the opportunity to regroup with our valued Members and have a dialogue on matters of strategic importance to Standards Australia. The first session was a panel led discussion open to Members and guests and it provided meaningful discussions around how the Australian economy and community should respond to changing global dynamics, and the role of standards.

Accessibility and collaboration will continue to be key priorities for Standards Australia, driving the work we’ll deliver together over the coming months.

Speaking of the future, May also saw us open entries to the Standards Australia NEXTgen program.

The NEXTgen program is a cost free 10-month professional development program designed to up-skill participants’ CV’s, increase their standards knowledge and help them make important industry connections.

Applications will stay open until 30th June. If you have 5-7 years of professional experience and would like to learn more about the standards development process, please visit our website to find out more and apply.

— Adrian O'Connell, Chief Executive

The Standards Awards

Standards Australia has announced the winners for the 2022 Standards Awards.

The annual Standard Awards recognise members of the Australian standards development community and reward those who make a positive impact and further the development of standards within Australia and internationally.

Find out more about the Awards and this year’s winners here.

Applications Open for NEXTgen Program

Applications are now open for Standards Australia’s NEXTgen program.

NEXTgen is a cost free 10-month professional development program designed to upskill your CV, increase your standards knowledge and make important industry connections.

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

Find out more here.

To Flush or Not To Flush

Following public consultation, Standards Australia has published the highly anticipated standard, AS/NZS 5328, Flushable Products.

AS/NZS 5328’s publication follows years of contention around what can be flushed down a toilet and the issue only worsened during Australia’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

Find out more about the standard here.

Telecommunication Safety

To support the telecommunications industry in its efforts to serve its customers and support consumers safely and efficiently, Standards Australia has published AS 3015:2022, Electrical installations — Extra-low voltage power supplies and service earthing within telecommunications networks.

The standard is a revision of its 2004 predecessor and includes three key components: power systems, extra-low voltage (ELV) and earthing.  

Find out more about the revision here.

The Iconic Nation Report

Last month, Standards Australia published the Iconic Nation Report. This document details the history and the future of standards in Australia.

The report was released to Australian media and is available digitally and as a limited hard copy.

Find out more here.

Standards Heroes - Up and Coming

Over the last 100 years, individuals from technical, business, academic, government and community backgrounds have contributed their expertise to developing standards. Helping make Australia a safer and more efficient country.

In May, we celerbrated up and coming standards heroes. These people are emerging leaders in their fields and are making significant contributions to standards and society through their actions.

Read more about our standards heroes here.

In Conversation with Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas is the Managing Director of FireMate, an Australian software-as-a-service solutions provider to the fire protection industry.

Rob has been part of the fire protection industry since his teenage years. He started ‘on the tools’ as an electrician, which enabled him to understand the challenges that on-site teams face every day.

While founding FireMate, Rob quickly recognised the need to make Australian Standards more accessible across the fire industry. In 2022, Rob was recognised with the Standards Australia Innovation Award.

What role have standards played in your career?  

The fire protection industry is built on standards both in terms of how systems are installed and how they are maintained. As a young fire technician on the tools, it was drummed into me that my work directly impacted the safety of every person in every building. We needed to get it right, and the Australian Standards were the benchmark for all installations and maintenance. Later in my career, when I was managing teams of technicians, I likewise used the standards as a way of training new fire technicians.

At FireMate, Australian Standards have been foundational from 'day one' to how our fire protection maintenance software was developed. By automating industry best practice workflows and applying relevant standards, we can increase the productivity of fire technicians and the office teams that support them. The integration with Australian Standards that was launched in 2021 boosted this productivity to the next level by presenting technicians with the correct information from the standards just when they needed it. This 'just-in-time' application of the standards eliminates search time inside a standard document, reduces the chance of errors and improves compliance against the relevant standards.

What is key to being an innovator?

I consider the keys to being an innovator to include a disciplined approach to understanding market needs and having a can-do attitude. FireMate’s software is built by fire industry professionals for the fire industry. This means we can put ourselves in the position of fire techs, office teams and business managers. The discipline of innovation starts by consistently engaging with clients and industry colleagues and listening to their needs and problems. Asking "what if…?", "how important is that?", and "how can we do better?".

You've been awarded Standards Australia's Innovation Award, what does this recognition mean for you?

Firstly, I’m very grateful for this award.

I see the award as recognition of work done by a broad team that includes the whole FireMate team, Standards Australia, our clients and industry colleagues I’ve worked with over the past 20 years. Australian Standards have been part of my work day since the mid 90s as a young fire technician. It’s very satisfying to know that a solution we’ve developed is helping fire technicians and others in the industry access standards, ensuring compliance and ultimately making people and places safer.

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 May (PDF)

  • ISO and IEC Consultation Survey for Australian Contributors – May 2022
  • Guidelines for overseas warehouse services in cross-border trade: New Work Item Proposal
  • A governance framework for organizations deploying AI systems

IEC Young Professionals Program

The International Electrotechnical Commission is now accepting applications for the IEC Young Professionals (YP) Programme for 2022.

The IEC YP Programme is an opportunity for emerging leaders in energy and electrotechnology to further develop their skills on an international stage. Participants will have the opportunity to meet technical experts from all over the world and see the IEC in action by attending the IEC YP Annual Workshop which will take place from 31 October to 4 November in San Francisco, USA – alongside the IEC General Meeting.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

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. With the launch of our new public comment platform, draft standards currently open for comment are now available via Connect.