With the 2021 National Conference just around the corner, covering the theme of Together Towards Tomorrow, the topic of project led recovery and how we can support this as a project profession is top of mind.

In the Federal Budget announcement in May this year, the Government announced a range of measures to support infrastructure led recovery in Australia, including a 10-year $110 billion infrastructure investment pipeline.

Importantly, the spending provides an opportunity for jobs growth for project professionals to meet the demands of infrastructure and construction spending. Ensuring there are skilled project professional resources, will be crucial to the successful outcomes of both national and state-based projects. “The escalation of shovel ready projects, combined with incentivising students to study a select range of subjects, is welcome news as we look at ways to boost Australia’s economy,” said Sid Gokani, CEO of AIPM.

With the Government looking to projects to drive economic recovery both nationally and across individual states, through our expert speakers at the 2021 National Conference we will look to answer the following questions:

  • What does this mean for the demand for infrastructure and how do we plan for this?
  • Does the nature of infrastructure projects change in the future?
  • With the pace of change being witnessed through industrial transformation, what will the future of work look like for project managers across all sectors?

Infrastructure and transformation

On day one of the Conference, which falls on 22 June 2021, respected and experienced finance and economics commentator, Michael Pascoe, will focus on the topic of infrastructure-led recovery, as well as covering the politics driving government spending.

Pascoe explains, “the speed of Australia’s economic recovery has surprised everyone with our employment outcome a major achievement – but there is a serious risk that this recovery is built on a consumption sugar hit that is in danger of petering out, returning the economy to the stagnation it was falling into in 2019. There’s been plenty of rhetoric about infrastructure investment to sustain growth – but also political smoke and mirrors.”

Our Conference program will address a range of additional topics including disaster recovery and sustainability, resilience and adaptability.

Project managers who are at the helm of these major projects, will require a range of skills, including the ability to drive both sustainability and resilience into projects. The ‘new economy’ will require leadership in bold innovations in design, planning for, and developing creative solutions.

On day two of the Conference, held on 27 July 2021, Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO, Urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist, will cover the topic of developing smart cities and economies for more sustainable urban planning. From 2015-20 Turnbull was the inaugural Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, tasked by the NSW state government to assist in delivering strong and effective strategic planning for the whole of metropolitan Sydney.

Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM, Australia’s Chief Scientist will also speak on the topic of new industries and jobs for Australia. “The question for me is how to strengthen the connections – connecting the work of scientists, researchers and innovators, with industry and policymakers,” says Foley.

On day three of the Conference, falling on 31 August 2021, our expert speakers will continue to break down the topic of the role of the project manager in ensuring the success of projects in the pipeline. This time delving into the theme of resilience and adaptability and how we can plan for the uncertainty and risks associated with change, with expert commentary from Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, Commissioner of Resilience NSW.

Fitzsimmons was appointed as the inaugural Commissioner for Resilience NSW and Deputy Secretary, Emergency Management with the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 1 May 2020. He is currently the chair of the State Emergency Management Committee (SEMC), the State Recovery Committee (SRC), Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the National Emergency Medal Committee (NEMC).

Now is the time to build a highly skilled project management workforce who can meet these projects head on. We hope to see you at this year’s National Conference to break down these topics and ensure the project profession is ready to meet the changes the next decade will bring.