Dr David Cruickshanks-Boyd, National President,
Stephen Durkin, CEO, Engineers Australia,
Professor Alex Baitch, Immediate Past President,
Honorary Fellows, Fellows, Members and Staff of Engineers Australia.
Ladies and Gentlemen
For the first time in our history, we will have a Board that will shape the strategic direction of Engineers Australia.
As the 2016 National President, I intend to harness the energy and intellect of those elected to this critical role, and deliver on our promise to be the TRUSTED voice of the profession.
Together with our CEO, Stephen Durkin, I pledge before you an unyielding determination to tell the engineer’s story from the vantage point of those of us who have dedicated our lives to serving the profession and our community.
The engineer’s story is the thread that binds our common humanity. It is not an exaggeration to say that we touch lives every day in every way. It is therefore incumbent upon all of us to be Loud and Proud when telling that story.
While Engineers Australia has recently undergone transformational change, there is more work to be done!
Make no mistake these are exciting times for our members and the profession!
So let us shine a torch on what Engineers Australia is doing to remain relevant in such consequential times.
I ask that you take a moment to soak in the splendor of the building in which we gather.
Cast your eyes over the world’s most livable a city; a city that engineers help create.
Happy, healthy communities!
To the North – Tullamarine Airport and the University precincts. To the West – Southern Cross Hub. Further out to the Port of Melbourne; the Altona Refinery and the Melbourne’s manufacturing centres.
Take note of our proximity to engineering powerhouses, Jacobs, WorleyParsons and Arup.
Just as an aside, the conglomerate company Siemens has organised for their staff meeting to take place here this afternoon, at Engineers Australia, rather than at their Bayswater facility.
This is a great example of the conversations we are having and the partnerships we are cultivating.
Oh, and don’t forget, Parliament is just a FREE tram trip away.
What is that real estate mantra:
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Now, take a further moment to visualise the potential for what we the sowing here at 600 Bourke Street.
In my mind, there are no limitations to what this organization can achieve, if only we put our mind to it!
Our Facilities Management Program, which is well underway in Adelaide, Darwin, Hobart, and now Melbourne, will establish a bank of contemporary, state-of-the-art facilities serving members, the profession and our communities at large.
For the duration of my presidency, I intend to focus on Engineers Australia as one organisation, fuelled by many channels.
Whether you are a member living in Hobart or Hong Kong; Sydney or Singapore; Melbourne or the Middle East, the resources of Engineers Australia will be at your disposal.
This sense of inclusiveness will be a hallmark of my presidency.
In the cavity above the Assembly (point the direction), you will see the words of Sir John Monash, connecting the Upper and Lower levels of this wonderful facility.
Monash’s legacy will forever be his ability to connect: he connected soldiers from different armies in the theatre of war; he connected civil servants whose vision shaped our landscape; and he continues to connect generations of engineers with a simple yet powerful creed:
“Adopt as your fundamental creed that you will equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit but for the benefit of the whole community”
This sense of duty will never be diminished by the ravages of time!
It is interesting to compare those words with our Royal Charter Purpose Statement. The purpose of Engineers Australia is to advance the science and practice of engineering for the benefit of the community.
And so I turn to this generation of leaders, our Senior Office Bearers and ask that you echo the sentiments of John Monash by your words and by your deeds.
Leadership can be defined in many ways.
Leading by example, is one trait that leaves an indelible footprint on the psyche of those who choose to follow.
We have seen this style of leadership, time and again, from our strENGth Ambassadors. Captains of industry – leading by example – calling each of us to an inspired future.
The second aspect of Monash’s quotation appeals to our sense of community.
Let me speak first about our community, which makes up over 100,000 members, and then I will move to the communities beyond engineers.
Yes, they do exist!
In a recent survey, our members spoke loudly, and I believe clearly, of the priorities that they want this organisation to focus if we are to realise our collective ambition.
Leading critical debate on infrastructure and job creation to fuel our economy is one area our voice must be heard. However, as with any debate, the loudest voice is not always the best informed.
We must act on our knowledge and be measured in our response.
As National President, my first job is to listen and my second is to act!
The result of this survey is a clear indication that the changes being adopted by Engineers Australia align with what members want.
Let me make this absolutely clear.
As a leadership group we are doing what our members have asked for!
And so the next step in the evolution of Engineers Australia has been the launch of our National Engineering Register.
As the largest engineering register in Australia, the NER will provide governments, business and the public with a greater awareness of the esteem in which a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Chartered Engineering Technologist and a Chartered Engineering Associate is held within the profession.
As National President, I wholeheartedly accept the responsibility of carrying the torch for Engineers Australia.
If we are truly to become the trusted voice of the profession, more of you, and especially our Senior Officer Bearers, must be willing to share this responsibility.
When we engage governments, it is trust in the profession that will see engineers seated at the tables of influence.
When we speak with our peers, trust will galvanize consensus to achieve our profession’s highest goals.
And when we reach out to the community, it is trust in our commitment to the pursuit of engineering excellence that will determine if the profession continues to shape our landscape and the economy for future generations.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you!