| 11 December 2023

Engineering highlights: a year in review

As the year draws to a close, I am filled with pride and gratitude for what we have accomplished together. Reflecting on the past twelve months, it’s clear that our collective efforts and focus have moved the dial on advancing the engineering profession.  

Engineers Australia’s journey this year has been marked by notable achievements and milestones. Here are some of them.  

Our Europe trip with National President and Chair, Dr Nick Fleming, enhanced our global perspective and collaborations, culminating in the re-signing of our Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with Engineers Ireland.  

Engineers Australia’s commitment to climate leadership was evident through an impactful CSE23 and representation at COP28, where we amplified the engineering voice in critical environmental discussions. 

The new 2023 Awards Program took a One-EA approach which was launched following a review in 2022. This was led by the Professional Development team with support from our divisions and Learned Society teams.     

Our 2023 membership renewal rate stood at an impressive 93.5 per cent, reflecting the trust and value our members place in our organisation. Combined with a 7.3 per cent increase in new members, our membership rose to over 122,000.  

Engineers Australia’s relationship with more than 120 industry partners through our Engineering Workforce Credentialing (WEC) program has magnified our presence and impact across industries. The 60% increase in migration skills assessments and 11.8% rise in chartered assessments reflect our commitment to supporting engineers’ career progression and global mobility. 

Our digital transformation project also marks a significant leap forward, promising to improve how our members and volunteers engage with and access resources from us. This transformation is a direct response to member feedback, especially from our younger cohort.   

The establishment of the Office Bearer and Volunteer Hub on EAXchange, and the ongoing upgrade of audio-visual technology in our meeting rooms and auditoriums, are some other examples of how we're enhancing member experiences and supporting the delivery of member-led events. 

The Engineering Education Australia (EEA) Team received three Platinum Awards (the highest category available) at the LearnX Conference and Awards, one of the largest and most recognised in Australia’s learning and development community.  

Engineers Australia has also achieved significant advancements in professional standards and advocacy this year. We released the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) which is published on the website, detailing the systems and resources that enable engineers to practice ethically, competently, and contribute high value in their work.  

We developed a draft Nuclear Engineering Area of Practice competency framework, crucial for credentialing the nuclear engineering workforce in support of the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine program.   

The team also worked with statutory regulators to advocate for nationally consistent registration, aiming to reduce administrative and cost burdens associated with new registration requirements.  

Another highlight of the year was the successful launch of the Engineer Profession – A Statistical Overview report and dashboard at Parliament House, a further step forward in data-driven decision-making. This will further enable advocacy efforts based on a thorough analysis of the engineering workforce's supply and demand dynamics, spanning from school years to women in engineering, overseas-born engineers, and retention strategies. 

We continue to elevate our government engagements across all levels, including meetings with several state and federal ministers, resulting in invitations to participate in the National Circular Economy, National Resilience and National Science and Research Priorities Review taskforces, and the Diversity in Stem Review.   

Along with these successes, we also faced great loss with the passing of the Learned Society team member Rebecca Dodd and Group Executive, Growth, Jane Hanks. Their memory continues to inspire us, reminding us of the importance of a people-first mindset, which has been central to our leadership approach this year. 

Our focus on nurturing a strong organisational culture under the OneEA initiative has brought us closer, reinforcing our collective purpose and role in shaping the future of engineering. The improvements in employee engagement and the growing sense of pride in being part of Engineers Australia are indicators of our progress. 

We are leading the way in delivering in person respect at work training, strengthening our culture of respect and our strong performance in safety and wellbeing showcasing care to our people including office bearers and volunteers. 

As we step into the new year, our focus will remain on building our OneEA culture, being more visible and influential, supporting engineers throughout their careers, creating volunteering opportunities, and strengthening collaborations with industry partners.  

On behalf of the board and employees of Engineers Australia thank you for being an integral part of the Engineers Australia story. Together, we have achieved so much, and I am excited about what we will accomplish in the coming year. 

We wish you a safe and happy holiday period. 

Romilly Madew AO FTSE HonFIEAust