The world is changing somewhat with the advance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Our physical and digital worlds are combining to transform the ways both our personal and business lives are planned out. The ongoing shift in the way we communicate, how we operate from day to day, how we seek knowledge and how we learn is completely transforming our working lives.

The one constant is change. Change does not have to be rapid or radical. It can be subtle and seamless. But if you are not constantly changing aspects of your business and personal lives, you are at risk of being left behind.

So as I look back over the last year and plan for the next year or two, I am conscious of the minor changes we have made to our business and how we operate. One internal change is our commitment to work/life balance and providing flexible working arrangements for staff. There is certainly a mind shift to the way we employ staff and keep them invigorated, accountable and productive.

Our biennial flagship exhibition – Austech – ran in May 2017 and was a great success with over 12,000 visitors and fantastic feedback and results for our exhibitors. We also ran around 20 other events including business breakfasts, plant tours, member focus sessions, networking functions and social activities. We are continuing to change the range and type of events to engage with the membership and provide them with the networking and opportunities they are looking for.

The decision to produce a bi-monthly 120-page AMT magazine was a positive one. This change has allowed our magazine to continue to go from strength to strength and our resources now allow us to have even more focus on great Australian stories and positive news. Another subtle change to our magazine has seen more focus on each state in each issue and this has been well received. I would like to thank our members that have supported our magazine over the past year. We are very proud of the regular feedback we receive which iterates AMT is very well regarded and respected in the industry.

We changed the way we communicate information to our members with our regular Hotspot communication and e-newsletters. This is our way of passing on anything that comes across our desks that we feel is of interest to members, whether it be opportunities for work, networking functions, information on running a business, funding prospects from Government or specific industry information, the Hotspots have been well received by members and we look forward to continuing this service in the future.

Our work with the Federal Government continued through our involvement as a Partner Organisation for the Entrepreneurs’ Program (EP). We now have nine staff delivering business reviews and specialist hard and soft technical advice at a national level and we continue to support all the components that make up the EP. This is a great national initiative and one we hope will continue to be supported by the Federal Government in the future.

We have been working with both the Innovative Manufacturing CRC and the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre as they establish themselves and we are looking forward to having an intricate involvement with both these bodies in the coming year. The work we have been doing in this area has brought us closer to other industry groups and government departments and this is certainly an advantage to us as we seek to address the industry issues facing our membership. This will be a core focus for us over the coming years.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our members that have been involved in our activities over the past 12 months and wish everybody a great Christmas and merry festive season.