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—Adrian O’Connell, Acting Chief Executive Officer

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In conversation with Dr. Tobias Feakin

The upcoming cyber security project looks to strengthen cyber security in the region, why is this important?
Standardisation in the cyber security field, while sounding very dry, is essential for ensuring we are all speaking the same language when it comes to cyber security, and at its core this is what this project is about. The ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards helps organisations keep their information assets secure.
Through the Cyber Cooperation Program, we are ensuring that our neighbours in the Pacific have the capacity and expertise to not only implement these standards to secure their systems but to also genuinely participate in the International Organization for Standardization process to update existing and develop new guidelines.
Is there support in the region for this?
Absolutely, countries in the Pacific understand the importance of cyber security not only for the safety of their citizens and their information but also the economic opportunities presented by digital trade and commerce once you establish secure and robust ICT infrastructure.

How will this benefit Australians?
First and foremost, this project will ensure we can all speak the same language when it comes to cyber security. Everyone will be clear on the definitions and concepts, so we can move straight to harnessing the opportunities and addressing the challenges of digital technologies. Secondly, having a digitally safe and prosperous neighbourhood will offer new digital trade and commerce opportunities for Australian’s while supporting regional security and stability.

Are there any risks are associated with this?
There are risks with any project but that does not mean that you can’t take steps to mitigate them. This is why we are partnering with Standards Australia on this project to ensure we can benefit from their extensive expertise in this field and deliver a project which genuinely meets the needs of countries in the Pacific.

What does the future of standardisation look like?
Standards are an important tool which supports legislation and policy for the benefit of the public. At the same time standardisation promotes innovation by not only disseminating knowledge and ideas but more importantly provides structure and processes which save time in developing and implementing new ideas. So, looking to the future, as Pacific countries closer integrate into the international standards setting system I expect we will see innovative Pacific solutions to local and global challenges.

Technical governance review – 3rd quarter update

Through careful implementation of a series of changes across our processes, Standards Australia is working to make the standards system in Australia even better through efficiency and effectiveness.

Access to information
The first three months of 2019 have seen the release of the first phase of Connect, our new contributor platform, and the completion of a pilot for a new online Public Comment platform. As well as delivering some new functionality straight away, both represent ongoing work to provide much better access to information about the standards development work program. Feedback on both platforms has been incredibly positive with a strong development pipeline for Connect being worked on now.

The next stages of both programs of work, will see even greater functionality and deliver on our commitment to make our contributors’ engagement with Standards Australia much simpler, faster and better.
Building knowledge
The Technical Governance Review recognised the pivotal roles played by committee chairs and by Nominating Organisations within the standards development process. By providing better support in these areas, we expect long-term benefits to the entire standards development system.

The Standards Academy, our learning platform for contributors and staff, was relaunched in early March 2019. The Academy has a new look and feel giving contributors easier access to high quality online learning material, and options to register for face to face workshops.

The range of learning materials is being expanded to give more focused support in key areas, such as knowledge and skills needed to be an effective committee chair, as well as enhancing the capabilities of those already in the role.  

The team is also developing material to assist Nominating Organisations. Those who are new to standards development need to build their knowledge of our processes, along with guidance on how to contribute effectively. Organisations involved in multiple committees may want ideas to coordinate the contribution of their committee representatives over a number of committees and projects.

For information on the progress of other projects under our Technical Governance Review (TGR) Implementation Plan for FY2019 (PDF), go to the Quarter 3 Progress Report on our website.

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International update

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. View draft standards currently open for comment.

SDO News

Timelines drawn for new Responsible Wood standard

A HISTORIC trans-Tasman forestry standard is a step closer with the Gold Coast set to host the first standards committee meeting on May 16 and 17.

In response to unprecedented interest from New Zealand stakeholders, Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries confirmed that a healthy balance of Australian and NZ interests will be represented on the committee.

“Certainly the interest from New Zealand stakeholders has been high; on the balance, Australian and NZ representation will be almost 50-50.”

Mr Dorries said the new standard would be developed as a fully recognised joint Australia-NZ standard, accepted by PEFC International and meeting the system requirements for a fully-fledged JAS-ANZ accredited sustainable forest management system.