In October 2022, Standards Australia celebrates its 100th birthday. The company’s legacy would not be possible without all the individuals who contribute to the organisation: from members, stakeholders, staff and those directly involved with the development of standards.
What are standards?
Standards are voluntary documents (unless called upon in legislation) that specify minimum requirements to ensure products or services are fit for purpose.
Standards Australia facilitates the development of standards used across 13 sectors, including building and construction, public safety and more.
Many experts across industries contribute to new standards and maintain thousands of existing standards.
Developing standards throughout history
For the past 100 years, standards and Standards Australia have been contributing to the overall welfare of Australian and international communities. From keeping communities safe, supporting innovation across industries, supporting the economy and removing barriers to trade.
‘We have a unique history, from developing standards during the Second World War to campaigning for metrification in the late 1960s to the early 1970s and adjusting to working online throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic,’ said Standards Australia CEO Adrian O’Connell. ‘Throughout our 100-year legacy, our contributors have continued to contribute their expertise to develop standards.’
Programs to help shape the future
Looking to the future, Standards Australia is invested in continuing to empower Australians. ‘As Standards Australia continues to develop and grow, we aim to add even greater value to the community. This is why we’re committed to transformation and innovation, and to developing the next generation of contributors and leaders, said Mr O’Connell.
To support those interested in participating in national and international standards development, Standards Australia launched the NEXTgen Program in 2012.
The free program offers emerging industry and technical experts the opportunity to become involved in national and international standardisation processes. Participants gain a detailed understanding of the world of standards – how they’re made, what impact they have and, most importantly, how to be involved in developing them.
Through the program, participants will be given access to training, mentoring and direct exposure to standards development processes.
‘We value the experts who join our committees to develop Standards. To ensure we have well-balanced committees with a range of perspectives, we encourage people to participate in the NEXTgen program so they can bring with them their diverse and inclusive backgrounds and expert knowledge,’ Mr O’Connell said.
Additionally, NEXTgen participants attend webinars and committee meetings (national and international).
All activities provide the participants with an in-depth understanding of the resources and processes required to shape robust standards, which contribute to Australia’s Net Benefit and international standards.
Through NEXTgen, participants will be invited to join a technical committee relevant to their field of expertise as observers for two years.
Applications for the next round of NEXTgen will open on 30 June 2022. You can find out more about the program on the Standards Australia website.
Launching careers through the Graduate Program
In 2020, Standards Australia launched its inaugural Graduate Program.
The program is an opportunity for talented graduates to kick-start their careers. For Standards Australia, it’s also an opportunity to attract talented individuals who are determined to benefit Australians through their work.
The program lasts for 12 months and offers young professionals the chance to rotate across several Standards Australia departments. It allows graduates to learn about the company’s processes, procedures, activities, and goals, while creating valuable connections.
‘As a company, we enjoy offering younger people the opportunity to learn “on the tools” at Standards Australia. It’s exciting to see recent graduates join our organisation, and not only learn from us but also offer incredible insights and ideas which contribute to the realisation of Standards Australia’s mission and vision,’ said Standards Australia CEO, Adrian O’Connell.
Both 2020 and 2021 graduate cohorts have gone on to permanent roles within the organisation, bringing with them their knowledge and insights they gained while rotating across the business. The 2022 graduates kicked off their program in February.
These programs are just two of many initiatives Standards Australia has created in its 100-year legacy to support those who contribute to standards and those who use them too.
In 100 years, Standards Australia has shaped Australia’s history and contributed to the international standards sector.
Without the vital input of all those involved, from committee members, staff, Government stakeholders to graduates, there would be no Australian Standards.
‘We are in a unique position as the stewards of such a long and great legacy and, as CEO, I am honoured with this responsibility and take it very seriously,’ said Mr O’Connell.
For more information, go to https://www.standards.org.au/centenary