Page 50 - Australian Defence Magazine September 2018
P. 50

Independent review positions SIA for the future
the new Naval Shipbuilding College
and the Australian Maritime College;
• use its knowledge and expertise to men- tor younger people and to connect with
the next generation of submariners;
• regularly refresh its website to assist with better community communication; and • make improvements to its corporate
Another recommendation was that the “SM2020 Google Group” communica- tion forum should cease, a recommenda- tion that the committee has also accepted for the reasons outlined below.
The SIA committee considered all of the recommendations in the review report and the committee is in broad agreement with most of them.
An Action Plan has now been devel- oped to implement the recommenda- tions that the committee has accepted.
In relation to the closure of the “SM2020 Google Group”, it was de- termined that significant risk existed to the ethos of the SIA because of the perception that the SIA was directly or indirectly associated with the opinions expressed in this forum.
Therefore, the recommendation to discontinue the forum was accepted.
Thank you to all of our key external stakeholders who participated in the re- view. We look forward to an exciting time preparing for the future as it relates to sub- marine matters based on the constructive input received.
THE Submarine Institute of Australia (SIA) is proud of the reputation we have forged as Australia’s premier organisation for the promotion of informed discussion and research in the fields of submarine op- erations, engineering, history and sub-sea engineering, otherwise known as subma- rine matters.
Establishing and building this reputa- tion has not been an easy task and the fact that we have been able to do this (while expanding the membership of the SIA) is a credit to past and current members of the SIA committee, people who have elected to join and re-join the SIA, to- gether with the support that key external stakeholders have given to our confer- ences over many years.
Just as any effective and professional in- dividual or organisation should, the SIA has recently invested in an independent re- view of our activities, including how effec- tive these activities have been and, among other things, what the SIA should do more of and what the SIA should do less of.
The motivation for the review was to project where should the SIA be in five or even 10 years’ time and what do we need to do between now and then to get there.
To many, the perception of the SIA is an organisation whose major function is running an annual conference, but the SIA is and can be far more than that to
enhance the development of community understanding and support for Australia’s submarine capability (and comprehensive understanding of the undersea domain).
This will require a clear vision for the SIA’s services to be set for the next 5-10 years.
The SIA recently engaged an indepen- dent expert consultancy firm to directly engage with key external stakeholders at the highest levels to help shape the pathway forward for the SIA. A series of meetings were held between consultancy representatives and many of the SIA’s key external stakeholders.
These meetings took place without any representative of the SIA present. The rea- son for this was to help ensure the feed- back provided was as “frank and fearless” as possible.
After the meetings had been completed, the consultants collated all of the feedback and wrote a report with recommendations for the SIA to consider.
In short, there is a lot the SIA is doing well and there is a lot more the SIA should consider doing. Among the recommenda- tions are that the SIA should:
• aim to become a more serious player in policy and political arenas;
• refine its areas of policy focus;
• consider a partnership approach, for ex- ample, by building deeper linkages with
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