AMTIL held its annual general meeting (AGM) on 27 October, with the event taking place online for the first time. The AGM saw the appointment of a new member to the AMTIL Board, as well as the confirmation of two new life members.

The decision to hold the AGM online had been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also allowed the participation of members from much further afield, with around 90 AMTIL members logging in from across Australia. While conducting the AGM through video conferencing marked a big change from previous years, proceedings went smoothly, with voting on AMTIL matters taking place through onscreen polls rather than the usual show of hands.

Proceedings kicked off with a keynote address from guest speaker Mike Rolls. In September 2001, Mike contracted meningococcal septicaemia, one of the deadliest diseases on the planet. He lived to tell the tale, but the infection left him with horrific internal and external injuries, including the amputation of both his legs. However, Mike refused to be set back by the illness, and has used his experience as a springboard to personal and professional success. In telling his inspirational story, Mike drew incisive parallels between his experience and the challenges we’ve all faced during 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We all have our individual battles, and there is absolutely no good comparing our own situation to someone else’s” said Mike. “What I do know is that we are all far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. And what I do know is that in the face of an impossible challenge, when we choose to ask ‘What’s next?’, remarkable things can happen.”

Following Mike’s talk, the AGM itself took place. AMTIL President Brigitte Stavar gave the opening address, while board member Adam Nichol provided a summary of AMTIL’s 2019/20 financial report. In addition to the usual AGM business, AMTIL welcomed a new member to its Board, with Pat Green of Automated Solutions Australia confirmed to replace Paul Fowler of Dimac Tooling. Paul is stepping down after 12 years on the Board, including a term as President from 2012 to 2019. Paul was also confirmed as a life member of AMTIL, along with Pat Boland of ANCA, who preceded Paul as President.

“On behalf of the Board, to all the staff led by (AMTIL CEO) Shane Infanti, your resilience and hard work has been remarkable, managing working remotely through this crisis supporting members and keeping the finger on the pulse,” said Stavar. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Directors on the Board of AMTIL, for their invaluable commitment to the organisation, navigating and responding to the impact of COVID-19 on our industry during this stressful period.”

Finally AMTIL CEO Shane Infanti provided an update from on the association’s activities over the previous year. He also detailed AMTIL’s plans for the future – most notably its new exhibition, Australian Manufacturing Week, which is scheduled to take place alongside Austech in March 2022.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our members that have been involved in our activities over the past twelve months,” said AMTIL CEO Shane Infanti. “Your input is valued highly. I would also like to thank the Board and Directors of AMTIL, who have given such good guidance and support to the Institute over a long period of time. To all the staff at AMTIL, your commitment and dedication to the members is valued highly by myself and the Board. I thank you sincerely and look forward to the coming year or two with great anticipation.”