Making friends ‘Down Under’

Clearly something amused me during my key note address to delegates at the IIMS Australia workshop
Clearly something amused me during my key note address to delegates at the IIMS Australia workshop

It was a pleasure to make the long journey to Adelaide to be part of what was a very successful IIMS Australia branch two day workshop. Sadly my stay was only a short one. Mind you, given how cold it was (no-one told me about that), I was happy to head back to warmer climes.

The day before the main event I was fortunate enough to spend the day briefing Adam and his colleagues at AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) about how maritime regulation operates and is governed in the UK. This proved to be a useful two way discussion and I think left the group with plenty of food for thought and lots to ponder over.

What struck me immediately is that surveyors in Australia face similar challenges to surveyors in England! OK so there are far fewer Australian surveyors than there are in Blighty, which means less competition. But the same challenges exist for sure. So when it came to workshop time, I listened intently to those who spoke about a range of topics. I used my key note presentation to reach out to members (and others at the event) for whom being 12,000 miles away from the UK represents a challenge. It was an opportunity for me to showcase the changing face of IIMS to nearly 60 delegates and I was delighted at the positive feedback I was given and the sense of ‘we did not know there was so much going on’..

Dinner at The British on the Thursday evening was lovely – sadly no indigenous ‘tucker’ for this English guy to enjoy.

The campus at Port Adelaide was the perfect place to hold such a workshop. The lecture theatre was functional, comfortable and intimate – once we cracked the projector! Outside were some vessels owned by the facility which we were able to put to good use. This was especially useful when we got to Peter Lambert’s practical session on the dying art of compass adjusting as we took to the water.

The whole event was captured on video. All IIMS members will be notified when the content is available to view.

Mick Dyer was appointed Chairman of the IIMS Australia branch
Mick Dyer was appointed Chairman of the IIMS Australia branch

I was pleased to oversee the IIMS Australia branch AGM. The branch has a new Chairman in Mick Dyer with Graeme Normington taking the role of Vice Chairman. Kate Linley remains in her position as secretary and Adam Brancher moves in the Treasurer’s role. In addition, four new committee members were elected. I was excited to see their passion and desire to take on these roles.

I wish them well and believe they have a very strong new committee in place. Karin Powell was voted in as executive officer on one day a month to help to keep the committee organised and under control!

My lasting memories? Well I am grateful to my colleagues in Australia for making me feel so welcome and am delighted I had the chance to meet so many of you. My thanks also to Adam Brancher for his hospitality. Oh and huge portions of food including the largest schnitzel you have ever seen!

Successful surveying.

Mike Schwarz

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