By Eliza Booth, Assistant Editor, Pump Industry Magazine

In early November, the PIA council and its members came together for its 16th Annual General Meeting at the Commonwealth Golf Club in Melbourne. Attendees were updated on the associations achievements and activities across 2019, as well as its outlook and goals for 2020.

The PIA reported it had made great strides in the past year with the council working on several projects that focused on standards, skills training, industry partnerships and collaboration, as well as strengthening its digital presence with a new, official PIA Facebook page.

The PIA was also pleased to update members that the association had a 23 per cent increase in membership over the 2018/19 financial year, and that it achieved its budget objectives for the year, returning the association a profit.

PIA AGM 2019
President, John Inkster, speaking at the PIA AGM

Industry partnership and collaboration

During the past year, the PIA placed a major focus on creating and nurturing industry partnerships and collaborations through involvement in various activities and events. 

The association partnered with the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) to deliver successful seminars on AS 2941 – Fire Pumpset Selection, Installation, Commissioning and Servicing, which were run in Melbourne and Sydney in late July and in Brisbane in late November. 

The PIA also worked with Irrigation Australia (IAL) to licence parts of the pipe friction tables into is training course documentation.

PIA AGM 2019
Bala Thuralslngam, Ken Kugler and Keith Sanders

Skills training and standards

The association reported that it had held several successful training courses and seminars throughout the year, kicking off with a Technical Meeting on ‘Future Trends for Pump Resellers’, held at Davey Water Products in Melbourne. 

Installation and Commissioning courses were held in May and September at KSB in Brisbane, and Link Pumps in Melbourne, with eleven certified pump professionals graduating over the two courses.

Further breakfast meetings were held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne throughout the year featuring training on pumping and irrigation, motors and smart sensors, and solar pumping. 

Derrim Porter, Cassius Almeida and Joseph Montorio

Some of the other activities undertaken by the association throughout the year include:

  • Conducted annual review of Australian Standards used in PIA handbooks
  • Prepared installation and commissioning course 2020 recommendations
  • Prepared and distributed promotional material to increase the sales of PIA handbooks
  • Undertook investigation on how PIA could present training in the future with Australian Industry Standards and Irrigation Australia
  • Organised and negotiated friction table data for IAL to use in its diploma course manual
  • Prepared publications discussion paper and report for council
  • Ongoing organising of volunteers for the next update of the Pump Technical Handbook
  • Editing Pipe Friction Handbook with calculation of update to ductile iron tables
Samantha Tyler and Steve Russell

The PIA was also nominated as the “go to” organisation for pump technical and other pump related queries by the Federal Government‘s E3 Energy Efficiency Equipment program.

As part of this role, the PIA will provided technical feedback and participate in the Technical Working group for pumps, compressors and boilers on the potential MEPs standard for industrial pumps.

A renewed path for the new year

The council updated members on the association’s plan to achieve its goals for the year ahead, with a special focus on growing the PIA and becoming further financially sustainable. 

PIA AGM 2019
Derrim Porter, Jim Fontiniotis, David Lawrence, Koorosh Faraji and Chris Bland

The PIA’s plan for 2020 identifies ways in which the association can help the pump industry to grow, create jobs and operate sustainably through representation, promotion, information and education. The association aims to achieve these goals by:

  • Raising awareness for the association
  • Expanding PIA’s role as a value-adding resource to its member companies
  • Providing the central forum for the exchange of industry information
  • Positioning the PIA as the leading membership organisation for all pump and pump system professionals

The council hopes to achieve this by engaging in deeper collaboration with other associations; developing training and learning programs that can be delivered via the PIA website and further web channels, both free and paid; and developing a new pump training course project where the PIA will work with Irrigation Australia to create a training course aimed at staff that are working within the pumping and irrigation industries.

Will Shanasy, James Blannin, David Lawrence and Billie Tan

The team to lead the charge

The meeting wrapped up with the PIA voting for the incoming council members for 2019/20. All offices we declared vacant and a general election for the positions of President, Vice President and Councillors was called. The following representatives were voted to lead the PIA for the year ahead:

  • John Inkster, President
  • James Blannin, Vice President  
  • Kevin Wilson, Treasurer/Secretary
  • Ken Kugler, Executive Officer – Standards
  • Alan Rowan, Executive Officer – Publications and Training
  • Louise Black, Executive Officer – Marketing and Statistics 
  • Hem Prakash, Councillor
  • Geoff Harvey, Councillor 
  • Joel Neideck, Councillor 
  • Anant Yuvarajah, Councillor
  • Mike Bauer, Councillor
  • Steve Bosner, Councillor
PIA AGM 2019
Guest speaker David Bird, Founder, International Wise Counsel, gave an interesting speech about winning and retaining business, including critical success factors and being persuasive
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