CEO's column: A time to reflect on 2018

By intouch posted 13 December 2018 00:48


After less than two weeks as Acting CEO, it’s fair to say I’m looking forward to the opportunity to catch my breath during the Christmas break and reflect on what has been a busy year for IPWEA.  

Ben-Balov-2.jpgIn the almost nine years since I started with IPWEA, I’ve seen the organisation go from strength to strength, and 2018 was no different. With the support of staff, volunteers and our network of technical experts, we’ve continued to deliver resources that not only make your job easier, but also facilitate personal growth and continued professional development, whether that be through technical information or networking and social events.      

IPWEA’s publications, the Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning and NAMS+ tools continue to form the backbone of our asset management program. Enrolment in the Professional Certificate has gone from a modest 150 people in 2014 to more than 600 people in 2018. In 2019 we’re expecting this number to be close to 900 public works professionals. 

In addition to our technical resources, IPWEA’s state and New Zealand Divisions deserve recognition for the tireless work put into engaging with, supporting and representing our members. While I’m sure you’ve heard the positive feedback from your local conferences and awards nights, what goes unseen is the significant time invested in taking the leadership role and advocating various positions on your behalf – from the appointment of chief engineers, through to cadetship programs in local government. Our teams understand their regions along with the diversity public works brings, and they make a conscious effort to represent everybody from graduates to senior executives, from the most remote regional communities through to our largest capital cities.

With a strategic focus on the future, our YIPWEA program continues to evolve. It’s inspiring to see the passion and commitment shown by our under-35 group. This is a group of professionals trying to build careers at work, families at home and somehow still make the time to contribute to our organisation and their profession. This group deserves credit for keeping IPWEA in touch with the next generation and challenging the norms. I’d like to acknowledge the contributions of the YIPWEA Chair, Nicola Daaboul, and the rest of the YIPWEA Division Chairs over recent years. I look forward to working with you all in the years to come.

For those of you in senior positions, I encourage you to support your younger employees, and afford them the flexibility and encouragement to become involved. All too often, I hear of people wanting to undertake professional development and contribute to the industry but are unable to due to work commitments. Support your younger staff and enable them to thrive in our industry. Invest in the future of public works and ensure the resources and technical skills stay where they’re needed most. A perfect opportunity will be IPWEA’s biannual International Public Works Conference, which will be held in Hobart on 25-29 August – invest in your staff and support their development.

It’s that time of year for New Year’s resolutions – make sure you add supporting your industry and getting involved to your list, and don't forget to pencil in your trip to Tassie.

On that note, on behalf the IPWEA Board and staff, I’d like to wish everybody a happy and safe holiday season – we’ll see you in 2019.

Ben Balov
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