ASCA President AGM Report 2017-18

Dear ASCA Members, Partners, Colleagues and Friends

It’s AGM time once again, and I am pleased to share this 2017-18 update.  

First of all some highlights:

  • The 2018 ASCA Conference in Melbourne, which brought together smart community leaders from across Australia and around the world.  Although I wasn’t able to attend myself (due to the birth of my third child), in the weeks following I received universally positive feedback about the quality and value of this event – well done all!

  • We have a new website and branding (which looks super sharp, if I do say so myself)

  • Signing of the ASCA and Smart Cities Council MOU

  • Our new series of smart community webinars bringing you the best smart city experts

  • Formation of the ASCA Action Forums, where our members/partners work together to solve investigate and address key smart community challenges and opportunities

  • ASCA released its Discussion Paper 'Re-imagining the Local Government Operation Model' which looked at how implementing modern reform in Australian local government can help to realise the full potential of smart communities.

  • We saw great discussion at our QLD Member Meet & Greet around the status of Smart Cities and Smart City procurement in QLD

  • We have also collaborated with the Danish Trade Council and Design Futures Council to bring forth our Smart City Data Exchange Workshop.

Being based in Canberra, I’ve been pleased to take the opportunity to build closer and stronger relationships with the Australian Government and their Departments (as well as other national representative entities).  This engagement has been very positive indeed. ASCA is now a member of the Government’s Cities Reference Group, which provides a direct opportunity to shape national smart community policy and programs. We also partnered with the Australian Government to deliver our 2018 Conference – it was fantastic to have representatives from the Department at the Conference answering questions from our members about the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.  

Among other roles, ASCA is a key advocate for smart community leadership by the State/Territory and Federal Governments.  We have certainly taken every opportunity to promote the benefits of smart tech funding and reform on behalf of our members.  I recently wrote to the new Prime Minister and Minister for Cities to congratulate them on their appointments, and advocate for a continuation of the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.  As we approach the next federal election, ASCA will continue this advocacy, with both the Government and the Opposition.

In 2017-18 ASCA has taken a more active position to promote inclusion, diversity and equality, focusing particularly on gender.  We had three females join the ASCA Board this year, up from one last year, and, based on the current nominations, I hope to see gender parity in 2018-19.  Moreover, in collaboration with the Victorian Government, ASCA committed to, and delivered, gender equality of speakers at our 2018 Conference. There is always room for improvement, but we are very proud of these achievements.  

As an membership-based entity, ASCA’s success is founded on the leadership, participation and collaboration of our members and partners.  I would like to acknowledge the wonderful contribution of our members, and encourage your ongoing and active involvement into the future. There are so many ways to get involved with ASCA, and the benefits are there to be shared.  Please keep an eye out for all the exciting opportunities coming your way, and, more than this, we always welcome your ideas and feedback.

On a personal note, I’ll be stepping down from the ASCA Board at this AGM, to focus on family and my own business.  It’s been an honour to serve as Vice President and President for the last two years, and I look forward to supporting ASCA in the future in a non-official capacity.  

I’d like to thank my fellow Board members and ASCA staff for their support, dedication and camaraderie – it’s been a privilege to work with you.  And of course, to all of ASCA’s members and partners, I thank you for your ongoing smart community leadership, collaboration and inspiration. It has been a true pleasure to work with, and on behalf of, so many outstanding organisations and individuals.  

My warmest welcome to the incoming ASCA Board and new President.  I see bright prospects for Australia’s smart community future, and I’m sure ASCA will continue to lead the way.

My very best wishes to ASCA and our members for 2019 and beyond!  

With warmest regards,

Brook Dixon

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