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Graeme Drake

Our birthday Standards Heroes have been nominated by their peers to represent all our contributors - individuals we consider to be the real heroes of standards, in Australia and internationally. We thank those who contribute their knowledge and expertise, service, and time to Standards Australia for the benefit of the Australian community.  

Graeme Drake has been a long-standing contributor to standards. His many roles include - Member, Standards Development and Accreditation Committee (SDAC), Chair, EV-021 Environmental Management and Sustainable Development, Chair, MS-064 Chain of Custody Chair, QR-010 Conformity Assessment, Chair, ISO/TC 207 SC3 Environmental Labelling Convenor, ISO/CASCO Technical Interface Group (TIG).  

How did you become involved in standards development? 

I was first involved in standards development after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992. My focus at that time was helping industry identify and use sustainable production methods.

What role have standards played in your career?   

I have been a standards committee manager and standards executive at Standards New Zealand and for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Geneva. Presently I volunteer my time as the independent chair of several national and international standards committees, and as a Member of the Standards Australia Standards Development and Accreditation Committee (SDAC).  

What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver? 

As Head of Conformity Assessment at ISO I helped deliver an extensive revision of the generic ISO/IEC standards on conformity assessment (e.g. calibration, testing, certification, accreditation and peer assessment). These international standards are the basis for the global acceptance of conformity assessment results that underpin trade of many goods and services. These standards are also adopted domestically around the world to ensure the organisations that undertake testing, inspection, verification, certification and accreditation are competent, and that we as a society can trust and rely on their results.    

Outside of standards development, what have been some highlights of your career? 

Outside of standards development some of my career highlights have been working in developing countries to help local producers enter world markets while at the same time conserving local environments and endangered species; and facilitating organizational and technology change for not-for-profit membership-based entities at national, regional and international levels.

What do you think the future of standardisation looks like? 

Standards development has a strong future and is used to support the sustainable management of our planet. Standards are an efficient way to capture knowledge and make it available to more people. The standards development process itself allows for diverse communities of interest to share experiences, learn from the past and each other, and to discuss and harmonise collectively the expectations for the future. When managed effectively, standards evolve to reflect contemporary concepts, values and technologies.

Is there anything you’d like to say or mention about Standards Australia’s centenary year?

There are few organisations that get to see their 100th birthday. It is a tribute to the founders of Standards Australia and to the generations of people that have contributed their time, expert knowledge and skills over the years (often on a voluntary basis) for the general betterment of society. The Members of Standards Australia are stewards of this important legacy and I look forward to continuing another 100 years of adaptation, evolution and success.