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.
Lynne Bilston sits on CS-085, the Standards Committee that oversees the design and performance of child restraints. Her work has helped play a part in reducing deaths and injuries to children in car crashes in Australia and around the world.
How did you become involved in standards development?
I had been doing research into injuries to children in car crashes, and we found that there were some areas where child restraint design and usability could be improved, so that they offered better protection and were easier to select the right restraint for a given child. I was then nominated to join CS-085, the Standards Committee that oversees the design and performance of child restraints to help implement some of the research findings.
What role have standards played in your career?
Standards are critically important to ensuring that safe products are provided to Australians. In my area of child restraints, the child restraint standard is mandatory, ensuring that all child restraints sold in Australia must meet exacting, world leading safety standards. Our Standard, AS/NZS 1754 Child restraint systems for use in motor vehicles, is recognized internationally as being a world leader, and contributing to this is a major achievement of my career.
What is a project you’ve been particularly proud to have helped deliver?
We undertook a major revision to AS/NZS 1754 in 2010, in which we fundamentally changed how child restraints are selected. Our research had shown that the old system of selecting a child restraint based on the weight of the child was not working well, with many children using the wrong type of restraint for their size. In the 2010 revision, we introduced a set of simple shoulder height markers that indicate the size range of children who are suitable to use that restraint. This allows parents to immediately see when their child outgrows their current restraint and discourages premature graduation to the next restraint type when a child is too small for it.
Outside of standards development, what have been some highlights of your career?
I’m very proud of the research I’ve done that has played a part in reducing deaths and injuries to children in car crashes in Australia and around the world. This research ranges from field studies looking at how children are injured in crashes, experimental crash testing studies, all the way through to basic science studies of how the brain and spinal cord are injured. It’s both interesting and satisfying to make a difference.
What do you think the future of standardisation looks like?
Standards will continue to play a key role in keeping Australians safe, and also, increasingly, enabling international as well as national collaboration.
Is there anything you’d like to say or mention about Standards Australia’s centenary year?
Just to add my congratulations on a hundred years of making improvements to Australians’ lives, both in economic and safety domains through standardisation.