With National Volunteer Week in May, Engineers Australia National President Trish White and CEO Peter McIntyre highlight the sheer variety and scope of the work thousands of volunteers do and thank them for their contributions.
Throughout 2019, our centenary year, we’re holding events to acknowledge our volunteers for their role in making our centenary theme of ‘Anything Is Possible’ true.
Engineers Australia could not do the work we do without our more than 2500 volunteers.
This year, volunteers have played a particularly valuable role in helping to shape the World Engineers Convention, which is coming to Melbourne in November.
Volunteers from our colleges and technical societies have always advanced engineering knowledge, producing journals and technical resources for members.
Our volunteers also share knowledge, whether in a structured way by organising site visits, speaking at conferences and delivering training, or by providing informal mentorship.
When it comes to upholding professional standards, volunteers play a key role in helping to assess candidates for Chartered status and accredit university programs.
They serve tirelessly on our many boards and committees, giving us insight into what’s happening on the ground and enabling us to be more effective advocates.
We draw on our volunteers’ expertise when we are developing policy positions and producing submissions to government.
For example, in our submission last year on construction in the Australian Capital Territory, volunteers told us that build quality was higher in commercial developments than residential developments, identified common flaws, and explained conflicts in the quality assurance process. This was reflected in our submission.
Engineers Australia’s submissions to government are on our website, along with our policy positions on energy, infrastructure, skilled migration, the future workforce and defence.
Our current achievements rest on the shoulders of those who have gone before.
Engineering Heritage Australia volunteers work to record and celebrate our engineering achievements, providing a window on the past that can inform the future.
The Engineering Heritage Recognition Program encourages the conservation of engineering heritage and raises community awareness. More than 220 sites have been recognised under the program with markers or interpretive panels.
The National Engineering Oral History Program records history as it was, not a sanitised version from files and history books.
Just as volunteers celebrate the past, they also shape our future by helping to create tomorrow’s engineers. They organise camps and competitions for school students, speak at school careers nights and hold events such as the Warman Design and Build Competition for university students, which, since 1988, has seen 50,000 students help the people of the fictional planet Gondwana to triumph over a harsh environment.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact Engineers Australia. With 30 technical societies, nine colleges, four special interest groups and more than 40 regional and international groups, there’s a community to suit all interests.