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In this Edition

CEO Report

We recently celebrated the 100th birthday of Standards Australia. It would not have been possible to reach this point, and have made such an important contribution to Australia, without the support of our contributors, nominating organisations, members, stakeholders and staff - past and present.

I thank you all for your commitment to our important purpose and the work of this national asset.

In reflecting on our past, I believe we are the stewards of a legacy built by those who came before us. It has been no mean feat to survive and thrive over the past 100 years, a period of dramatic change. Many of the top 500 companies that existed a century ago have long gone, but Standards Australia has stood the test of time.We have faced many difficulties in our history but have been equal to every challenge. We have proven our resilience and turned setbacks into opportunity.

While we have achieved much, we cannot rest on our laurels. We have a unique opportunity to continue building a modern, responsive and innovative organisation that can fulfil its enormous untapped potential.

Our goal is not to become rich in profits, but rich in capability. Our intent is to strengthen our offering as an independent and self-sustaining public purpose organisation which adds enormous value to Australia, and its economic and social advancement.

It is remarkable that, as it reaches this important milestone, Standards Australia is not a diminished or tired organisation struggling to keep up with changing times. Rather, it is a transforming, energetic and innovative organisation which occupies a leadership role in addressing the new and emerging needs of the community. Our purpose is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

We will continue to work hard and be more responsive to the needs and expectations of our current and future stakeholders.

The challenge facing us is to ensure we continue adapting and innovating in all aspects of our work, to enable us to add even greater value to the Australian economy and community.

The Standards Australia of the future will be a passionate and committed organisation proactively developing strategies and standards to meet the emerging challenges of the modern world.

Watch this space – there is a wave of exciting things coming our way.

Standards Australia hosts ISO, IEC leaders

This month Standards Australia hosted Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary General, and Philippe Metzger, CEO of IEC on their visit to Australia.

The global standards leaders' hectic itinerary included speaking at our organisation's Centenary Gala Dinner and sitting on panels at various forums which addressed hundreds of attendees.

They also participated in a Q&A session on World Standards Day, with Standards Australia hosting the Australian Graduate Data Network event.

At these events, they shared their knowledge about the role of standards in addressing important global issues, from climate change and technology adoption to big data.

Mr Metzger and Mr Mujica also met with Australian chairs and conveners of ISO and IEC committees and working groups. Attendees from a range of technical groups heard from the leaders of ISO and IEC about both organisations' priorities and initiatives.

And as part of the Centenary week, members of the Australian National Committee met with Mr Metzger to discuss IEC future directions, IEC's new strategy, and diversity and inclusion at IEC.Standards Australia was honoured to host Mr Metzger and Mr Mujica, and looks forward to more collaboration in the future.

Centenary Gala event

On the evening of October 12, Standards Australia hosted a gala dinner in celebration of its 100th birthday.

Guests from member and nominating organisations, contributors, industry partners, and local and international dignitaries represented our broad array of stakeholders.

The event was held to recognise our organisation's achievements of the past century and acknowledge the efforts of contributors and stakeholders in its success and reaffirm our commitment to delivering valuable work for Australian and international communities over the coming years.

World Standards Day Forum

On October 14, Standards Australia facilitated a panel session to celebrate World Standards Day and reflect on the ways standards may support a ‘Shared vision for a better world,' the theme for the event.

First celebrated in 1970 as means of paying tribute to the collaborative efforts of thousands of experts worldwide who develop the voluntary technical agreements that are published as International Standards, Standards Australia commemorated the 52nd World Standards Day to share experiences and considerations on how standards support collaboration for a better world.

The hybrid panel session brought together almost 300 attendees, including representatives from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Niue and New Zealand.

The panel featured Standards Australia’s CEO Adrian O'Connell and Head of International, Karen Batt. They were joined by Sergio Mujica, ISO Secretary-General, and Philippe Metzger, IEC General Secretary and CEO. Together, they addressed the various ways standards have provided a global solution for the world's most pressing challenges, in particular climate change.

he session also invited Pacific Island representatives Ruth Amos, Chief Executive Officer, Vanuatu Bureau of Standards and Ajeshni Lata, Standards Officer, Department of National Trade Management, to share their experiences using standards to benefit their communities and discuss ways ISO and IEC can support participation from Oceania to ensure all voices are heard.

Attendees identified climate change as the most pressing challenge for Oceania in the next 10 years.

Centenary Book

To mark its 100 years of contribution to Australia, Standards Australia created a souvenir book to capture important moments in its history.

The book details the process to create standards, their importance to society, and also examines key future focus areas.

Importantly, our Centenary Book also acknowledges the organisation's heart and soul - its contributors - who generously give their time, knowledge and expertise to make a safer, more efficient Australia.

We hope you enjoy reflecting on our journey and our exciting goals for the future.

Read the book here.

TEDx and Standards Australia's Salon Event

This month, with TEDxSydney, we hosted a salon event - Tomorrow's Technology: Shaping our Future. The event posed the question, how will we be shaped by critical and emerging technologies? Guest speakers included Raina McIntyre, Professor of Global Biosecurity and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at UNSW; Allan McCay, Deputy Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology; and Lyria Bennett Moses, Director of the UNSW Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation and a Professor and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Law and Justice at UNSW Sydney.

The discussion was exciting and broad, covering topics including:

  • How biotechnology has the potential to change our lives
  • Whether the World War II human rights framework is still fit for purpose
  • "Four ways to ethically constrain artificial intelligence"

To find out more about the above, click here to register for on-demand access to a recording of the event.

10 Standards keeping us safe and prosperous

Standards affect us in thousands of ways and they touch every industry. We've highlighted ten Australian Standards that contribute to our society's wellbeing and prosperity. Click here to read our article.

Invitation to Digital Engineering Event

The world is currently changing at a rapid pace, with all aspects of our personal lives becoming digital.

Industry 4.0 is not like anything we have ever experienced in the past, and the pace of change is only accelerating. All sectors are experiencing significant transformation due to this technological revolution – however the engineering and construction sector has been relatively slow to move.

Join us as at the hybrid event Digital Engineering: Shifting the paradigm in the construction sector, where we begin to explore what it will take for this sector to realise the immense opportunities for growth and digital transformation.

Date: Monday, 7 November

Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm (AEDT – SYD:MELB:CAN)

Registration: LINK TO REGISTER

New initiative

Standards Australia has commenced an exciting new initiative, that will open up a new conversation with industry about the future of the engineering and construction sector.

To propel the move forward, Standards Australia is commencing a new program through a series of thought-provoking discussion papers on topics such as industry drivers for change, the rise of digital twins and the future of smart infrastructure – just to name a few. These papers will challenge the status quo, introduce concepts from other more digitally-enabled industries and create new opportunities for the sector to explore and adopt.

Event overview

This event will formally launch the initiative, by sharing our new vision for sector-wide digital transformation.

It will feature a presentation and panel discussion with a select group of leading industry experts, who will discuss the significant objectives and opportunities of this initiative.

Aged Standards

To keep our catalogue contemporary and relevant, we are seeking feedback on a number of Aged Standards (documents over ten years old), belonging to inactive Technical Committees.

Let us know if these standards are still used by your industry or community by Monday 19 December 2022.

Learn more on our Aged Standards Review page.

Applications open for Graduate Program

Applications are now open for Standards Australia’s Graduate Program.

Commencing in January 2023, the 12-month program provides the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working across a number of core business units.

The program will provide graduates with the experience to work with colleagues and stakeholders on various projects and initiatives while developing a range of business, management, and technical skills, namely through mentoring, growth and development opportunities, international experience, and ongoing feedback.

Graduates from all disciplines will be considered, especially those who demonstrate a passion for innovation, collaboration and contributing to the Net Benefit of Australia.

If you know someone who may be suited to a career with Standards Australia, please encourage them to submit their resume and a cover letter to outlining their background and why they would like to join the Program.

Applications close November 14.

Standards Heroes

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 October, we’re celebrating our ‘birthday heroes’ who have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors.

We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.

Read more about our standards heroes here, and our centenary here.

In Conversation with W.R. Hebblewhite

William Rayner 'Ray' Hebblewhite OBE (31 Dec 1885 – 11 Mar 1966), was Standards Australia’s first and longest serving Chief Executive Officer. He dedicated almost 30 years to the world of standards and was instrumental in stewarding our organisation’s second world war efforts. With the permission of the Hebblewhite family, we have imagined the result of a conversation with him today.

You began your career in standards in the 1920s - did you imagine they would have as much importance as they do 100 years later?

The people who worked hard to establish standards in Australia - 'founders', if you will - did not imagine the impact that standards would have on Australia or the world. Yes, we wanted to improve Australia and the Commonwealth through standards, but we could not have predicted the rapid advancement of technology which created a truly globalised planet – all built on standards. The impact of standards on life is vast.

In your view, what were the most significant milestones for Standards Australia over 100 years?

There are far too many to name, but a few stand out as particularly noteworthy. The organisation's contribution to metrication in the 1970s, its ongoing and significant contribution to international standardisation, its leadership of standards development in the Pacific region, and setting up its own shop in the digital age - these are all memorable events in an organisation that has contributed much over a century.

What was the most difficult time for Standards Australia while you were at the helm?

There were many, but I think the most challenging time was during what became known as World War Two, and the years immediately afterwards. The world was in absolute chaos. And yet, our organisation played an influential role, bolstering war production and civil defence.Post-war, we advocated hard for standardisation to promote industrialisation, which helped keep the economy stimulated into the 1950s and set Australia on the path to post-war growth.

Are you proud of Standards Australia's achievements over 100 years?

I am proud that the foundational work we did early in the organisation's career has been built upon and, subsequently, established a passion and commitment amongst the next generation to continue this important work. The challenge for Standards Australia will be to continue its accomplishments, but I believe in the organisation's future - it has a plan, and its future is in safe hands.

What do you hope for Standards Australia over the next hundred years?

It is important for Standards Australia to continue its leadership role in the realm of standards development. Australia has grown and evolved considerably in a hundred years, but it is still a small (but clever!) nation by global metrics. What we can't contribute to in volume we must seek to contribute to in smarts and innovation.

I am glad the organisation has worked hard to build on its foundations, but Standards Australia must not lose sight of its mission - to be a global leader in trusted solutions, delivering value to the Australian people.

Read more about William Hebblewhite here.

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 October (PDF):

  • ISO and IEC Secretary Generals visit to SA
  • Management consultancy: New Field of Technical Activity
  • New standards map for household appliances

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.