New year message from the EIANZ President to members

Published 4 Feb 2016 by Michael Chilcott FEIANZ CEnvP, EIANZ President

Welcome to 2016.  I know that we’re already in February, but it often seems that, at least in my base of Sydney, our full focus on work only really kicks in after 26 January! For NZ colleagues, it’s our national day this side of the ditch, and provides a final hoorah for the summer break.
With the new Board settled in, I’d like to update you on some EIANZ activities, talk a bit about the new Board and Advisory Council, and share a few thoughts on where the year might head.

Recent activity

Although the year is young, your Institute has been busy over the past few months. Some highlights have included:

  • EIANZ’s submission to the Australian Government’s review of the EPBC Act ‘water trigger’. You can view it here. My thanks to the Impact Assessment SIS for leading this.
  • EIANZ’s submission on the Environment Canterbury (Transitional Governance Arrangements) Bill. You can view it here. Our NZ colleagues have led this work.
  • Organising successful events in various Divisions - NSW (Innovation series 1), SEQ (Everything environmental enforcement), SA (Biodiversity offsetting) and Wellington, NZ (Green Infrastructure). My thanks to colleagues in all those Divisions for organising and supporting these initiatives.
  • Arrangements confirmed for EIANZ and CEnvP Board representatives to meet with Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt in late February.
  • Progress on delivery of the EIANZ 2016 Annual Conference in Brisbane 3 & 4 November 2016. Save the date! Our SEQ based organising committee has planning for this event well in hand.
  • Agreement reached with Taylor and Francis on publication of the Australasian Journal of Environmental Management for the next 5 years, including distribution of electronic versions to members.

Further events are planned by many Divisions and the NZ Chapter for coming months. You can access information on these via our Events page of the EIANZ website.

New Board

At the EIANZ AGM in Perth last October, the election of a new EIANZ Board was confirmed and a new membership of the EIANZ Advisory Council commenced. I’m delighted to welcome some wonderful new talent to the Institute’s principle governing body, and to welcome back some experienced contributors. 

In Di Buchan, who continues as VP New Zealand, and Vicki Brady, who assumes the role of VP Australia, we have two Vice-presidents with strong understanding of EIANZ from the grassroots up. 

Di will chair the Institute’s Human Resources Committee, and provides an invaluable link between the Board and the NZ Chapter. Vicki will play an important role in membership development. These functions are in addition to the broader VP role of coordinating and keeping on top of EIANZ activities across our two Chapters.

Two Board members are continuing in key positions they held on the previous Board. 

Bryan Jenkins from NZ (Christchurch) is Treasurer, continuing his stewardship of EIANZ finances. He’ll chair the Board’s Finance Committee. 

Paul Keighley is continuing as Secretary, focusing on governance and management of Board business. He is also the Board’s link to the Students and Early Careers Committee, and Policy and Practice Committee.

We have two new faces on the Board as ‘Ordinary Members’. This title belies the contribution I’m confident both will make to the Board over the coming two years. 

Carolyn Brumley is a senior practitioner with Golder Associates in Melbourne. I’m particularly delighted that in Carolyn we have a Victorian on the EIANZ Board. The EIANZ is registered in Victoria, and our Central Office is located in Melbourne. Carolyn’s proximity to our office will be an asset to the new Board. She will sit on the Board’s Finance Committee.

Adam Smith is well known to many EIANZ members. He is a long-standing leader of the Institute’s Far North Queensland Division. He has a deep knowledge of the Institute and its work from his involvement at Division level and as a member of the former EIANZ Council. Adam will lead the EIANZ Communications Committee. 

I’m also continuing on the Board but with a different hat. You can read a bit on my background here. My focus will be on facilitating EIANZ strategy with the Board and Advisory Council. I’ll also be working to lift EIANZ’s standing with governments, and to give voice to our Institute’s work on behalf of environmental practitioners. I’ll also chair the Board’s Risk and Audit Committee.

New Advisory Council 

I’d like to acknowledge the new membership of the EIANZ Advisory Council. The Council consists of the Presidents (or their delegate) of each EIANZ Division and the NZ Chapter, together with the chairs of our four special interest sections (SISs). 

The Council is now chaired by Mark Breitfuss, the President of EIANZ’s SEQ Division. I thank Mark and the other members of the Advisory Council for the work they will undertake with the Board, guiding EIANZ through the next two years.

Where to now?

The Board has been working to update EIANZ’s strategy and priorities. There has been some early work by the Board and the Advisory Council on membership development.  While our plans are still to be settled, we sense that increasing the relevance of EIANZ to practitioners, supporting better service delivery to members and giving voice to EIANZ in national and State arenas will all be important. Actions that deliver valued services and that raise the standing of our profession will drive membership. 

I’ll be talking more about our plans in the forthcoming edition of The Environmental Practitioner. Watch this space. Please share this and other EIANZ updates with your colleagues. 

Finally, your ideas and input as members would be very welcome. If you’ve not already done so, I encourage you to engage through your Division/Chapter Committees, SIS’s or via Central Office

Best wishes for the year ahead. Thanks for being a Member of the EIANZ and part of our broad and growing network of environmental practitioners.