I would like to begin by offering my sincere thanks to David and Gary as past Presidents, who have given me great support and are ultimately responsible for me being here in front of you today. I would also like to thank Tim Marks for all his work over the years running the Secretariat and I look forward to working with Thomas and the team, who are now directly employed with the AEMT.
I am honoured to be representing all the AEMT members. Being on the Council and a part of the Officers has been a great experience and a real privilege. It is our responsibility to represent every single person in the association and that includes the members and their employees.
Reflecting on the past, the AEMT was founded during a difficult time. Shortly after the war in 1945, the world was recovering, faced with a massive amount of debt and the reality of everyday life had changed for many. We had a shortage of everything: resources, people and skilled labour. This forced people to put aside their differences and work together as a community for the greater good. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen a similar situation. There have been numerous challenges, specifically, the huge burden faced by the health service to keep the workforce healthy. I feel that AEMT members have been critical in supporting Industry in a similar way. Without us, factories wouldn’t be working, our taps would be dry, and power would be diminished.
Looking to the future, I want to make sure that this message is effectively communicated to everyone within and beyond our association. I strongly believe the economy would not last for very long without us. That is important and oftentimes overlooked. I would like us to recognise our achievements throughout this difficult period and understand the importance of our efforts.
I am passionate about continual improvement in companies. I would like to look back at the origin of the AEMT and think carefully about why it was founded and how can we emulate this for the future. This can be achieved by working together collaboratively, sharing best practises, and by breaking down any barriers in the way. I certainly feel that we work better together, as an association. A question to ask in this climate is where are the next generation of our engineers going to come from? It is important for us to find a way to be relevant to the people coming into the world of work and how we can attract them to our sector of business. This can be achieved by getting the AEMT’s mission statement and strategy clear and to define who we are as an organisation coherently. Ultimately, I want us to make a difference to the society we live in.
We employ thousands of people in our corporations. We have a responsibility to them, each and every day to provide employment. My father has told me many things over the years but one sentence he said stuck with me. When I took over the business, he said to me, “The thing is son, it is your responsibility to ensure all 60 people can feel safely employed so they can pay their mortgage and keep a roof over their head.” That has really resonated with me, and I feel this is a message for us all as an association to take on as a responsibility to those around us.