It is my great honour to be elected as the Chair of PIANC Australia. Over the past 19 years, under the leadership of Neil Lawson and the PIANC Board, PIANC Australia has grown to become an integral part of the port and maritime industry. Working with PIANC International and our members, PIANC Australia has aimed to ensure the port and maritime community is actively involved and informed on the latest science and best practices worldwide. As Chair, I look forward to working with members and the Board to further these efforts and ensure we provide extraordinary value to our members.
As a worldwide organisation, members of PIANC Australia (incorporating New Zealand) have unequalled access to a range of unique services and activities. Our primary product, PIANC Technical Reports, are free to all members and provide best practice guidance on topics related to the environment, maritime infrastructure and recreational/inland boating. PIANC members are encouraged to participate in developing these reports via technical working groups. Indeed, the PIANC Australia board provides a Travel Assistance Program to boost international participation. We also regularly host workshops/sundowners, run training sessions, sponsor conferences (including the prestigious Biennial Australasian Coasts and Ports Conference) and bestow awards. In 2017, we proudly hosted PIANC International’s Annual General Assembly and Biennial Technical Visit (in Cairns) at which Neil Lawson was elected the first Australian Vice President of PIANC International. We currently have active members on many PIANC Working Commissions and encourage involvement from members across Australia and New Zealand, including Young Professionals.
As Chair, my aim is to ensure members are getting the maximum benefit from their involvement with PIANC. Over the coming months I plan, with support from the Board and members, to undertake a range of exciting new initiatives including:
- Regional support of country wide initiatives: With your assistance, I aim to establish Regional Chapters to effectively deliver value to our members. Regional chapters, run locally with assistance from the PIANC Board, will better meet the needs of local members, help communicate country wide initiatives and improve feedback between the Board and local members. To this aim, we will soon be calling for regional members willing to build a chapter in your area.
- Opportunities with international activities: One of PIANC’s unique advantages is that we are an international community of collaborative worldwide experts. Our aim is to ensure Australian and New Zealand experts are well represented on Commissions and Working Groups. This will guarantee that the final reports are relevant to our conditions and that the global community is exposed to our best practices. We also need to appoint Young Professionals to Working Groups, ensuring that PIANC members are involved with global experts at all stages of their career.
- Improved dissemination of information: I believe that we can significantly improve how we disseminate the wealth of information produced by PIANC. We have just launched a new website to better communicate with members and this will be supported by regular news postings and updates. We also plan to reach out to our valued Corporate members to ensure all relevant staff are receiving updates and information. Finally, we also hope to improve our long-standing collaborative working relationships with various Port, Engineering, Coastal and Scientific societies.
In the coming months, I look forward to working with the PIANC Australia Board and all members to continually improve PIANC Australia. Please take advantage of your membership and let us know how we can continually improve. This is an exciting time in the history of PIANC and I look forward to speaking with you soon.