2020 in Review: South Australia

Though unsurprisingly many of the plans we had for Engineers Australia’s South Australian members were impacted this year, we were still able to make several important advancements throughout 2020.
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Though unsurprisingly many of the plans we had for Engineers Australia’s South Australian members were impacted this year, we were still able to make several important advancements throughout 2020.

We saw the successful introduction of the Boardroom Lunch series, targeted towards EngExecs to facilitate important conversations about the future of engineering in South Australia. We held five Boardroom Lunches in total – two face-to-face and three virtual meetings.  

First, we looked at the future of industry in our state, including the impact of Industry 4.0, which demonstrated how South Australia is well positioned in a couple of industries to develop deep capability.

We moved into driving the innovation cycle, focusing on the work of South Australia’s Chief Scientist Caroline McMillan. Caroline’s presentation discussed convergence in engineering skills and how the engineering team will evolve over the coming years, as well as the idea of the Magnet City and how the State Government is looking to position South Australia.

The engineering team theme was picked up by Bernie Foley, Engineers Australia’s General Manager of Professional Standards, who introduced the work of the Australian Council of Engineering Deans focussed on the Engineering Graduate in 2035. This looks at various personal professional attributes which help the broad capability of an engineer in support of their technical skills.

To round out the sessions, Alison Lloyd-Wright, Executive Director Population Strategy, updated EngExecs on the Government’s Magnet State initiative. This looks at what we need to do as a state to attract young talent, including the work and lifestyle opportunities we present to make us a destination of choice.

The Professional Development Advisory Committee met a number of times over the course of the year, looking initially at the impact of COVID-19 and our transition to webinars for technical presentations, and ending the year discussing the attributes of future engineers in response to content covered in the Boardroom Lunch Series. This group will continue to meet in 2021, with a focus on providing extra dimensions to the national technical CPD program.

The South Australian Division Committee has spent 2020 looking at its processes, including the creation of various working groups to focus on key issues such as advocacy and sustainability. We plan to use these groups to focus Division Committee outcomes during 2021.

There has also been a strong focus on University and how we can support students. Lucie Reilly, Client Manager, Tertiary and Graduate Engagement moved many activities online to allow a virtual face-to-face support mechanism, with great attendance. Likewise, Chartered Information Sessions moved online, making it easy for a larger number of members and non-members to learn how they could advance their careers.

2021 promises a new approach to our program, including the debut of new hybrid events where guests may be present at Engineers Australia as well as online.  We look forward to seeing as many of you in person as possible!