The task of building the future is never complete, with success always “under construction” — and the same is true of Engineers Australia’s quest to advance society through great engineering, write Engineers Australia National President Dr Nick Fleming and CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans.
The whole of this perpetual challenge rests, like all major structures, on many supporting elements, which we continue to re-tool, renovate and re-make to fit the changing needs of our profession today and to prepare for tomorrow.
As a peak body with a legacy stretching back over a century, we bring individuals together to achieve more than they could alone.
Our Code of Ethics, for example, articulates our shared responsibility to balance today’s needs with those of the future, and to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of the community and environment.
We also contribute to the capability of our profession by supporting the growth and success of our members as individuals via our professional development, Chartered credentials, technical resources and network of more than 105,000 members.
Engineers Australia provides an intersection where engineers can collaborate with other professions.
At our inaugural Climate Smart Engineering conference in mid-November, Australian engineering leaders were joined by experts in banking, superannuation and government — not to mention former US Vice President and global environmentalist Al Gore.
As the voice of the profession, we advocate to government and in media to ensure engineering perspectives are heard.
For example, we’ve discussed the emerging engineering skills shortage in the media in multiple contexts recently.
These include resourcing post-COVID-19 infrastructure projects, the maintenance of proposed nuclear submarines, and our efforts to better connect employers and under-employed migrant engineers.
The energy transition will further stretch demand for engineering skills, with potential acceleration depending on the level of government commitment on climate change.
This will affect not just energy systems but such sectors as mining, transport, construction and more.
To strengthen the skills pipeline, we help young engineers through initiatives such as our jobs board, tailored webinars, online work experience and a mentoring scheme.
Outside the spotlight, our volunteers contribute enormously to Australia’s future safety, success and sustainability.
Engineers Australia is the biggest provider of expertise to the Australian standards development process, with more than 250 volunteers contributing to almost 200 Standards Australia committees.
Our volunteers and office bearers also inform our submissions to government, conduct research, share knowledge and networks, support university accreditation and act as award judges. Their support is crucial in the advocacy campaigns we spearhead, including for mandatory registration of engineers.
This letter appeared in the last edition of create for 2021. As vital as it is to look ahead, it is also important to mark and celebrate the milestones already reached.
In closing, we would like to recognise the important work of our members during a very challenging period, to thank you for your continued support and to wish you a successful, happy and healthy year ahead as you build your future in 2022 and beyond.