The agent of change – Create
Madew wants to ensure Engineers Australia can provide the policy and advocacy, continuous professional development and training to help engineers understand what a sustainability mindset is and how to integrate it into the work they do. ‘they do.
Madew saw opportunities to change the way buildings and communities are designed, constructed and operated. And that passion brought her to Infrastructure Australia, which was just beginning to focus on sustainability and resilience when she joined in 2019.
Sustainable engineering will be a key focus for Madew as CEO of Engineers Australia. “We need to ensure that all engineers have a sustainability mindset in the work they undertake,” she says.
To drive the transformation and embrace a sustainability mindset at IA, Madew worked with the team to think about how to integrate it into the procurement process.
“We found that many of the infrastructure projects assessed by AI did not take into account the impact of climate change,” she says.
Madew is also a strong believer in strengths-based leadership, an area IA has successfully focused on.
“We found that focusing on people’s strengths and then complementing those qualities with someone else’s strengths created a more productive outcome,” she says.
Addressing the gender imbalance in engineering is another entry on Madew’s priority list, and to do so she will draw on her background in construction and infrastructure.
Madew says the Property Council of Australia has made progress with a range of programs, from mentoring to the Girls in Property program, which promotes property careers in schools.
“Engineers Australia’s 110,000 members can be a huge platform to support our advocacy in schools and universities,” she says.
“We want girls to take up STEM subjects and attract them to engineering. When we know that only 16% of engineering students are women, we can really do better.
Engineers Australia has already made great strides in influencing important government regulations, such as the compulsory registration of engineers in New South Wales and Victoria. Madew will draw on his extensive experience at AI, an organization heavily relied upon by the federal government, states and territories, and industry, to advance this work.
“It’s important that we don’t just talk to external stakeholders, but work closely with our volunteers and members, leveraging their expertise and experience,” she says.
Given the huge and important work that engineers do, Madew believes the profession needs to have a bigger voice in important national conversations, such as investing in Australia’s engineering workforce and expanding sovereign capacity.
“I would like to see Engineers Australia as one of the key stakeholders that the federal government consults with,” she says.
“Our members will be instrumental in helping us get there.”
She acknowledged the work already undertaken by the Chief Engineer, JaneMacMaster, to raise the voice of Engineers Australia with government.
There are a lot of people fighting to have their voices heard, and Madew says she wants to make sure Engineers Australia is one of those voices.
“I will work closely with the team and our members to improve our external voice,” she says. “Engineers Australia has the noble aim of advancing society through quality engineering and I would like to see the organization become an even stronger advocate for the profession.”