WOB celebrates 100 years of Standards Australia


Women on Boards co-founder and Executive Chair Ruth Medd joined fellow WOB members at a gala dinner in Sydney celebrating 100 years of Standards Australia. 


Ruth joined WOB members, and Standards Australia board members Marlene Kanga and Governance Institute of Australia CEO Megan Motto at the dinner, which was also attended by representatives from members of nominating organisations, contributors and industry partners as well as Standards Australia staff, stakeholders and local and international dignitaries.

“WOB is a long-term supporter and industry partner of Standards Australia, finding members for their committees and advertising positions on the WOB vacancy board,” said Ruth.

"It was a fantastic evening. I was interested to learn that Standards Australia began in 1922 in accord with the need for safe and standardised rivets for the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and that in 2020 Tracey Gramlick - who spoke on the night - became the first ever female Chair of Standards Australia,"  said Ruth.

“I also met many interesting and accomplished people - from individuals who are on committees for plastic pipes to structural engineers who design towers for telcos and a professor who was integral to transforming the rectangular trampolines of the 70s into the safer but still fun versions we see today.”

(l-r) Megan Motto, Ruth Medd and Marlene Kanga at the Standards 100 Centenary dinner in Sydney.

Along with formalities, the night featured performances by the Australian String Quartet, Koomurri Aboriginal Dance Troupe, Tap Dogs, and Christine Anu.

About Standards Australia

Standards Australia is the nation's peak non-government, not-for-profit standards organisation. SA was a founding member of the ISO, in 1947, and is a member of the International Electrotechnical Commission. 

Nearly everything we touch has a standard connected to it. From the beds we sleep in and the food we consume, to the cars we drive and the places we call home.

There are up to 10,000 standards across a range of sectors from manufacturing and construction to energy and mining, public safety, communications, and information technology, transport, health, logistics and beyond.

“Our story began with the first standard used to help build the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1922,” said SA CEO Adrian O’Connell.

“Over the last 100 years, thousands of standards have been created to help build and protect Australia’s most beloved national icons, and given us the confidence to travel, shop and build, knowing we are safe from inconsistent or dangerous practices.”

Australia’s $1.8 trillion economy cannot operate without Australian Standards™, which surround and protect our everyday lives from the moment we get up in the morning, to the time we go to bed.

Standards have played a critical role in the creation and protection of some of Australia’s most unique national icons including Melbourne trams, the Port Arthur heritage site in Hobart, and lighting towers at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and the city of Darwin, which had to be completely rebuilt after Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

“Some standards have inevitably come from largely unforeseen calamities of the past – including cyclones, floods and fires, and safety incidents like road and train accidents.”

“Most standards, however, are created by looking to the future, and the overwhelming bulk have been designed by forward-planning teams of experts, thanks to advances in science and technology, and our continued focus on solving the challenges of tomorrow,” Mr O’Connell said.

The future is changing at pace, with up to 4,000 new standards needed in the next decade to safeguard our way of life.

“We couldn’t have met this momentous milestone without the support of our many stakeholders, contributors, members and staff.”

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