From the 2020 President Jillian Formentin

2020 President Jillian Formentin rounds up the year that was, discusses exciting opportunities for collaboration and welcomes our 2021 President to the job.
News Image

Rounding up the year I want to thank the WA Division Committee and other volunteer members who worked in partnership with the staff during a year of many changes, some expected and some not. Almost everything planned at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020 had to be re-thought and there were some great wins. We had greater engagement with people in regional areas who could more easily engage online. I wish to thank the staff in Perth and across Australia for their commitment and service to our members. This included leveraging a number of partnerships and collaborations to the benefits of our members and the wider community. Everyone has gone above and beyond what was expected this year and I thank you on behalf of the WA membership.

In Western Australia we were fortunate to be able to meet face to face on a number of occasions including some travel to regional areas. I was delighted to visit Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Bunbury and Albany to meet members in addition to those based in Perth. Although we talked about difficulties for some, many relating to work opportunities, most conversations were very positive. People have been open to find new ways to connect with each other and overcome new challenges. We have inspired ourselves with creative solutions, acknowledging that our priorities have shifted slightly and we are now closer to family and home. 

Many people spoke to me about increasing collaboration across industries and the value of Engineers Australia’s assistance in achieving this.

In considering the key issues engineers need to keep exploring to educate ourselves and the broader community, we hosted presentations and conversations on the topics of sustainability and climate change. I personally learned a lot about these important issues and many members have incorporated new thinking to learn about the science and how it is affecting our work.   

Through Engineers Australia, engineers are providing direct input to the development of public policy as advisers to government agencies like Infrastructure Australia, State Infrastructure organisations and other bodies. We do things in a variety of ways, whether it be designing new systems, infrastructure, machines and equipment or coming up with solutions to problems and implementing them. This is what makes engineers valuable to the continued operation and success of many industries and we need to ensure that we are relevant and in service to the quickly changing future. Moving to 2021 and into the future we will need to continue to work together to uncover important ways to lead engineering through these complex issues.

I am looking forward to handing over to incoming WA President for 2021, Brian Haggerty and continuing to volunteer in my capacity as Immediate Past President.