Our commitment to the future of the energy and electrotechnology sector at both a national and international level is a key driver for our work with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Together with our stakeholders we strive to innovate and deliver outcomes for the sector as a core part of our work as the national standards body.
This was on display at the IEC General Meeting (GM) in Shanghai, China. Now in its 83rd year, Australia was well represented both by Standards Australia staff but also by over 30 delegates from industry who contributed to governance and technical meetings, and a number of workshops. The IEC GM also provided an opportunity for Standards Australia to connect with many of our international counterparts. Building our connections and understanding challenges and initiatives in other countries helps us to ensure we share and learn how to make standards development more efficient and expedient.
The theme for this year’s IEC GM was ‘better quality, better life – reliability, safety, efficiency’, meaning there was plenty of discussion around innovation, diversity and inclusivity and the challenges of adapting in our rapidly evolving world. Another big focus of this year’s meeting was the next generation of standards developers. The IEC held several workshops attended by Australian delegates, including two Australians participating in the IEC Young Professionals program. Standards Australia staff were also part of a panel on attracting and training new experts in which we highlighted our work on NEXTgen, our stakeholder engagement approach and the training of committee members and staff.
I’m pleased to announce that Kareen Riley-Takos, General Manager Operations was elected to the IEC Standardization Management Board (SMB). The SMB is a key decision-making body for the IEC with responsibility for approving standards development projects, technical committees and appointing chairs, and liaising and maintaining relationships with other international organisations. In her appointment, Kareen will be supported by Beer Opatswan, who currently works for Energy Queensland and is a former IEC Young Professional. This is a great result for Australia and the IEC and is a testament to the instrumental work of our organisation and people at an international level.
While the year is drawing to a close, the work of Standards Australia continues with the 2019 Annual General Meeting being held in late November. This will give us the opportunity to present the year in full, hear from our councillors and members and discuss the future of our Distribution and Licensing Policy Framework. We look forward to updating our stakeholders and the public on the outcomes of the meeting and sharing next steps as we move into a new year and a new decade.