IWD 2023 – How is your Report Card?

As International Women’s Day continues to be celebrated across the nation this week with an abundance of events, newsletters, speeches, discussions and banners inviting us to either #EmbraceEquity or #CrackTheCode, there is still an insurmountable amount of work that needs to be undertaken in order for Australia to empower impactful diversity and equality across our professional landscapes.

While International Womens Day (IWD) is a stark reminder in which gender equal issues are brought to light, it should also serve as a warning that professionals need to equally demonstrate their commitment and success in achieving targets, raising awareness, taking action and measuring their performance by meaningfully redefining what change represents across social, economic, and cultural codes of professional practice.

The Federal Government’s Status of Women Report Card – 2023 strategy announced on IWD 2023, aims at tracking progress on a range of key issues on gender equality in an annual ‘Report Card’ by collecting data, engaging with that data, measuring progress and holding ourselves accountable for achieving impact.

Some of the findings of the Report Card reveal that Australia is sadly ranked 43rd for gender equality internationally compounded by statistics such as the 13.3% pay gap for full time weekly wages; 30% of Australian men who don’t believe inequality exists compared to the global average of 21%; the reality that due to this workplace inequality women end up with 23.1% less superannuation than men the same age on average; and other high level statistics on harassment which coincides with the introduction of new laws this week on workplace sexual harassment reforms. The situation for First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) women is even more dire…

So, have we really shifted the pendulum of change on gender equity?

Put simply, ‘No’. In fact, the pendulum of progress on gender equality appears to be going backwards, not advancing. According to the UN’s secretary general, António Guterres, global gender equality is still 300 years away. In a speech before the UN Commission on the Status of Women to coincide with IWD, he called for “collective action” worldwide by all sectors – public, private, government, academia – by investing in “gender-responsive” education, training, employment with a focus on the digital environment.

ACoP is calling on all professionals to step up and act. As a collective Council of professionals, we have an immense opportunity – and obligation – to facilitate change in as many ways as possible. But it requires a lot less talk, and a lot more action for 2024’s Report Card to unveil a better set of statistics.

Future of Working Round Table

Our Future of Working Roundtable held on 6 December 2022 provided much food for thought and an excellent springboard for further debate, discourse and discussion on this topic in the new year.

Our Chief Professionalist, Professor Deen Sanders OAM facilitated this lively session with our expert panel who explored a range of unravelling factors from productivity, profitability, efficiency, technology, talent attraction & retention, diversity and work-place well-being.

Professor Deen Sanders

Here, we share some of the key take-aways from the session.

Our first expert, ACoP’s Chief Futurist, Dr Simon Eassom examined the paradoxes of the 21st century and suggested that the idea of ‘work’, be it a 4-day work week or otherwise, is an urgent social issue as much as it is an economic issue, reflecting a desire to dismantle the constructs of work perpetuated by the 19th century industrial era driven by outputs, directed by time. He stressed the importance of the balance between work and play and engaging in meaningful work that Australians long yearn for.

Dr Simon Eassom

He proposed that the social challenge for the 21st century is therefore to enable people to engage in meaningful work and not clamour for the four-day week, which Simon observes is a band aid on a system that’s increasingly damaged. Instead, at a minimum, he shares that it’s about enabling good work for everybody as satisfied by three necessary conditions:

  • Work that gives people acceptable control over the money they need to sustain a meaningful life
  • Work that allows the individual the autonomy to create a working environment that includes human interaction, personal development and the full utilisation of their talent, skills, abilities and energies
  • Control over the when and how of work that enables them to combine work with other important life tasks and responsibilities such as caring for their family, exercise, eating healthy and social interactions

Simon continued by outlining the four cornerstones of the new world of work and the changing nature of work experience:

  1. Culture trumps rules!
  2. It’s about working, not about jobs
  3. Building teams becomes the significant factor in leading overall improvement of an organisation performance, moving away from hierarchical structures, instead using technology to better collaborate
  4. Leadership is not about management, it’s about coaching

Simon concluded by inviting us to not just reflect, with a deep frustration, around the way in which we endured meaningless knowledge/office work for decades, but a punctuation in that cycle that is giving us an opportunity to rethink a move forward around the future of work.

Our next presenter, Shivani Gopal explored what an inclusive, diverse and equitable work environment will resemble in the future, drawing our attention to the other impacts of the four-day work week on women if we move the dial too fast without a proper strategy and focus on what this means for genuine inclusion. potential negative ripple effect of a four-day week for women.

Shivani Gopal

Shivani warned that a further exacerbation of gender roles in society could lead to a further widening of existing gaps – the gender pay gap, the leadership gap, the superannuation gap and the wealth gap.

She reminded of how the pandemic exasperated the gender roles in society and how women were often the ones left to juggle both professional and domestic duties, citing the Australian Institute of Family Studies’ staggering statistic that 78% of women carried the mental load of all households, thus impacting brain space, efficiency and ability for worm to each full ambitions and dreams and the potential negative ripple effect of a four-day week for women.

Shivani shared preliminary findings of her Landmark national research on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D,E&I) in Corporate Australia, covering the gender pay gap; and the paradigm shift of the need to reposition Diversity, Equity and Inclusion towards Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (I,E&D).

Shivani concluded by recommending that a well-constructed I,E&D strategy is to incorporate it into an organisation’s EVP and ESG strategies, allowing organisations to be set apart from their competitors and establishing them as employers of choice.

Our third contributor on the panel was Rowena Ditzell, who is currently undertaking her PhD research on the future of work and alternative work schedules, including the Unilever trial. Rowena began by grounding us in the notion that there are many different ways that the four-day week can play out. The most common model is the compressed work week, where historically we tended to shove five days’ worth of work into four longer days.

Rowena Ditzell

Rowena explained that the model that she’s exploring is somewhat different in that it’s about still getting paid for five days, but doing so in 80% of the time (ie: four days), sometimes called the ‘100-80-100’ model predicated on the fact that people will need to do things differently if they want to achieve the desired outcomes.

Rowena talked through some of the initial findings from this fascinating work from a business perspective ranging from employee outcomes, wellbeing, engagement, job satisfaction and job conflict. Observations included a significant change process which saw improvements over time, coupled with support from management to deliver successful outcomes. With the extra time on people’s hands, it became clear that both men and women with caring responsibilities were able to use that time for their own personal benefit in a positive way. By giving people back time, there are significant benefits across a number of domains.  Rowena concluded by encouraging us to think about genuine change and how things could be done differently in the future.

The event drew to a close by Deen facilitating an engaging Q&A session and provoked our thinking by asking if ‘future workplace flexibility’ is just another code word for ‘doing more with less’ and being ‘rewarded more for less’?

As he points out, professionals and professional workplaces have a choice, reflecting that ‘choice’ is in fact the function of privilege, noting that until and unless we see workplaces that understand and respect genuine choice, even with the existing biases, we will not be able to move to a place of equity and flexibility in the future.

Climate Action pre-COP27 Roundtable Report

Action and change are now in the hands of business and professionals. As supporters, adopters and interested parties to the Charter ACoP was delighted to hold a Climate Action Forum pre-COP27 Event on 17 October 2022 which galvanised a panel of esteemed experts into discussing, sharing and planning for COP27.

The Roundtable, facilitated by ACoP Director Simon Hann, explored what to expect from this year’s Climate Change Conference in Sharm-El-Sheikh (COP27), outlined what participants needed to know to prepare for implementation as well as provided a terrific opportunity to gain insights from participating international representatives.

This month marks one year since ACoP’s member organisations endorsed the global Professional Bodies Climate Action Charter signalling our firm commitment for collective agency on climate action, which has also seen us facilitate other Roundtables on this important agenda.

Our Expert Panel

  • His Excellency Mr Mahmoud Mohamed Gamal Eldin ZAYED – Ambassador of Egypt to Australia
  • Kushla Munro – Head International Climate and Net Zero Pathways, Australian Govt. Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water
  • Mike Burrell – CEO, Sustainable Business Council New Zealand
  • Kate Levick – Associate Director Sustainable Finance, E3G.org
  • Tom Evans – Policy Advisor, E3G.org


The main message from this event was that COP27 will be focused on implementation, providing Australian businesses a platform to showcase what they are doing in committing to sustainability. All panelists agreed that now is the time to turn climate ambition into real action and deliver on targets, therefore validating the criticality of COP27 in injecting political momentum.

His Excellency Mr Mahmoud Mohamed Gamal Eldin outlined Egypt’s priorities and guiding elements of COP27, noting that the challenges before us are much higher than the gains we have achieved, reminding participants that:

  • COP 26 confirmed the need for quick and at-scale action by 2030
  • We must have a human centric approach which captures the needs and aspirations of the people who are subject to the impacts of climate change
  • We need to look into the implementation of a just, equitable and transformative pathway under the Paris agreement that can respond to these needs and calls
  • The speed and scale of action should be in line with the recommendations and findings provided by the best available science
  • The Paris agreement identified and clarified common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

The Australian Government’s Kushla Munro spoke eloquently about the criticality of mitigation outcomes urging the focus for countries towards adaption, loss and damage, financing and actually doing what we said we would do – as articulated at previous COPs.
Equally important is to showcase at COP27 the changed Australian approach and what our businesses are now doing such as clean energy, sustainable industries, products, services and research as signals on what we are doing by boosting and drawing on necessary investment.

New Zealand’s Mike Burrell provided an excellent overview of their strategy stressing that it was about

  • turning the climate ambition into real action and delivering on the targets
  • reminding us that there are only 8 COPs to go until 2030 and that
  • backsliding is a significant threat so COP27 is a game changer
  • we all need to keep up the momentum.  

Kate Levick and Tom Evans from E3G, a secretariat to the UK Transition Plan Taskforce, provided invaluable insights from the UK perspective and impressed upon us that we are globally in a ‘poly-crisis’ with challenging economies, pandemic, food, energy, debt, climate impacts … and the clock is ticking! They stressed that COP27 is crucial in injecting political momentum and to restore trust between governments to tackle the climate and linked crises together.

Your Invitation

We invite individuals and professional associations who are not members of ACoP to join the Australian / New Zealand ‘Forum for Climate Action’ that works collectively to uphold the integrity and contribution that Australian professionals can make in pursuit of our Nation’s climate agenda. “Collaboratively, we intend to harness and share our joint expertise and climate-relevant resources to enhance capabilities to practice sustainability, including a timeline for achieving this and identifying the help and collaboration needed from within our partnerships to achieve this”, said ACoP President A/Prof Klaus Veil.

Join the Forum email list here. For more details, contact CEO@Professions.org.au.

Future of Working – Is the 4-day Work Week the Solution?

Debate, discourse and in-depth discussions have been raging around Australia and the world about what the future of working is. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a game-changer turning traditional workplace culture on its head – so professionals and organisations are having to re-think sustainable, inclusive and flexible solutions to their work, workplaces and the broader workforce.

It seems that – again – the future is already here. Governments across Australia and around the world are seeing the 4-day work week as a viable solution. Will a hybrid model that leverages AI technology and flexibility to create maximum impact? Is it as simple as working ‘Anytime, Anywhere’? Does anything actually have to change? But if working is changing, how can we ensure that it’s diverse, equitable, ethical, climate-conscious, and inclusive?

These are just a few of the questions we will explore at our upcoming ‘The Future of Work – Is the 4-day Work Week the Solution?‘ Roundtable. This event is a follow-up to our ‘Creating Australia 2040 – Education and Employability’ National Summit in August 2022 which called for more exploration on the issues and challenges we are facing in preparing ourselves and our workplaces for this future.

This Roundtable will provide an opportunity for our Member Organisations to explore, discuss and comment on how this future of working will impact our professional lives. The discussions will inform where we will focus our attention in 2023.  

Our expert panel

ACoP’s Chief Professionalist Professor Deen Sanders OAM will facilitate this exploratory session with our expert panel. As the public face of our mission to advocate for the value of professional expertise, Deen will bring his organisational and own professional insights into this conversation, exploring what it means for professional organisations and their members.

Professor Deen Sanders OAM

We will hear our Chief Futurist, Dr Simon Eassom provoke our thinking on the seismic shifts disrupting the workforce of the future. In his role as Chief Futurist, Simon will develop and accelerate ACoP’s presence and value on specific ‘futurology’ scenarios; developing materials and presentations that could be used by ACoP members for their own understanding of the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other challenges facing humanity; and importantly assisting in the advocacy of ACoP as the leading voice in presenting objective assessment of the issues facing the professions, governments and society overall.

Dr Simon Eassom

Also on the panel is Shivani Gopal who explore what an inclusive, diverse and equitable work environment will resemble in the future. Shivani is a passionate feminist, serial entrepreneur, and finance expert on a mission to create a more equal world. She is the Founder and CEO of Elladex (formerly The Remarkable Woman) and Co-Founder of Upstreet. Shivani will share the findings of her recent research and the development of a diversity, equity and inclusion national framework, focusing on its impact on workplaces of the future in the context of gender inclusion, equity and flexibility.

Shivani Gopal

Our expert panel is rounded out by Mark Bonner, Engineers Australia’s Head of Climate Smart Engineering, who will provide a unique economist perspective on the effect of the dissolution of the 5-day, 9-to-5 working week in city-based office blocks on carbon footprints, sustainability and climate change.

The Professional Fight against Conspiracy Theories

The rates of acceptance of fake news, alternative facts and conspiracy theories are at alarmingly high levels. In a study published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology in 2021, 22% of the Americans surveyed agreed that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by corrupt scientists and politicians, 30% agreed that the dangers of vaccines are being hidden by the medical establishment, and 43% agreed that there is a ‘deep state’ that operates in secret and without oversight.

The prevalence of such beliefs is a significant problem for professionals and professional organisations, especially given that many of these beliefs are about professionals. So, what can professionals and professional organisations do to fight back against misinformation and trust erosion?

In collaboration with the Future of the Professions Research Group at Charles Sturt University (CSU), we are delighted to announce our next Round Table on 29 September 2022 featuring an expert panel of academics who will take up this practical challenge, as they discuss, dissect and engage in meaningful discourse on the fascinating, yet incredibly factual issues of fake news, misinformation and the erosion of trust.

Introducing our Expert Panel

Professor Stephen Clarke

Steve Clarke is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Social Work and Arts and lead researcher in the Future of the Professions Research Group at Charles Sturt University, and Senior Research Associate of the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He works on a broad range of topics in philosophy. Recent publications include Clarke, S. (2020). ‘Huckleberry Finn’s Conscience: Reckoning with the Evasion’, Journal of Ethics, 24 (4), pp. 485-508, Clarke, S., Zohny, H. and Savulescu, J. (eds.) (2021). Rethinking Moral Status. Oxford University Press, and Clarke, S. (forthcoming). ‘Is There a New Conspiracism?’, Social Epistemology, DOI: 10.1080/02691728.2022.2057369.

Professor Stephen Clarke

Dr Suzie Gibson

Dr Suzie Gibson is the Senior Lecturer in English Literature, School of Social Work and Arts at Charles Sturt University. Her research analyses the resonances and differences between texts, disciplines, and writers. Trained in feminist and critical theory, and her publishing covers a variety of textual forms and themes, including traditional and experimental forms of literature and philosophy. She is also interested in the narrative power of conspiracy theory and was a guest speaker at Western Sydney University’s ‘Writing and Society Research Centre’ where she discussed this phenomenon.

Dr Suzie Gibson

M R. X. Dentith

M R. X. Dentith is an Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Center for International Philosophy at Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, and a member of the School of Philosophy at Beijing Normal University. They are a philosopher interested in the epistemology of conspiracy theories, fake news, and secrecy. They are the author of The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), the editor of Taking Conspiracy Theories Seriously (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018), and is currently putting together a special issue of Social Epistemology focussing on recent, novel philosophical work on conspiracy theory.

M R. X. Dentith

Patrick Stokes

Patrick is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Deakin University, with research interests including personal identity, death, moral psychology, and the thought of 19th century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. His most recent book is Digital Souls (Bloomsbury, 2021) exploring issues of death and remembrance in the digital age. Patrick is also a regular contributor to The Conversation, New Philosopher, and a media commentator and radio documentary producer on philosophical issues.

Patrick Stokes

We would like to thank the Future of the Professions Research Group at Charles Sturt University for their assistance with this Round Table.  Led by Professor Stephen Clarke, the group researches and publishes on the role of the professions in modern society. Focal areas are Practical & Applied Ethics, Environmental & Social Justice as well as Library & Information Sciences.

National Summit ‘Creating Australia 2040 – Education & Employability’

What is the Society we want to be in 2040 and how do we get there? 

After three years of disruption and unpredictable devastation, the time came for us to explore and develop a holistic vision and roadmap of what Australia could be in 2040 – a resilient, fair and prosperous society that embraces the needs of both its peoples and their lands.

Bringing together a broad-based coalition of influential thought leaders in a cross-sectoral collaborative partnership, our inaugural ‘Creating Australia 2040 – Education & Employability’ National Summit held on 4 August 2022 was the first of a series of events that explored the key issues that required questioning, re-imagining and progressing towards the Society we want to be.

This National Summit, chaired by ACoP President Klaus Veil and MC’d by ACoP Director Simon Hann, showcased our convening power and ability to galvanise thought leaders across professional landscapes to explore key questions and identify practical, inclusive, evidence-based approaches to address the education and employability challenges of the next two decades, with a view to develop an integrated ‘Set of Principles’ that embody our collective commitment and responsibility in delivering on the Australia 2040 vision.Here, we would like to share a recap of the Summit and invite your participation in ongoing discussions on these important issues.

Keynote: Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA

Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA

Renowned academic, editor and author Prof Julianne Schultz AM FAHA opened our National Summit by encouraging us to contemplate defining Australia’s national identity for 2040 and beyond, suggesting that it will require our nation to consider its history, its shared experience and how we can learn from it. With migration waves over many years resulting in multiple layers of who and what Australia is, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise of the ‘expert’ and a new respect for professionals. With that as catalyst, she reminded us that now is the opportunity to build on trust in experts.

Julianne spoke firmly about the need for professionals to demonstrate deep knowledge about the society they operate in, and our nation will require experts from all fields to come together and step up with a public voice, from their respective professional perspective to lead and model respective conversations. She concluded by inspiring us, as professionals and experts in our chosen field, to be bold and imaginative.

Keynote: Dr Simon Eassom – Chief Futurist

Dr Simon Eassom

Our Chief Futurist, Dr Simon Eassom provided us with a plethora of thought-provoking insights and explored the challenges before the higher education sector. He outlined three seismic shifts:

  1. Continuous technology changes will change the future of work resulting in no long-term career jobs
  2. The need to align learning with labour market requirements to address the widening gap between higher education offerings and the workforce skills required
  3. ‘100-year life’- where workers will need to reinvent and keep pace to remain employable

Simon spoke of the disruption facing education with a call for Australia to align and use Artificial Intelligence and gig data across the life/learning cycle. He suggested a useful 5- step roadmap to:

  1. Create a long-term vision
  2. Transform the student experience
  3. Develop a national data strategy
  4. Collaborate with industry to prepare for tomorrow’s workforce
  5. Create an agile ecosystem to lower costs and create equity

As an extension to that roadmap, he proposed that Universities need to develop a technology framework, with innovative curriculum and personalised courses that are aligned to careers and linked to certification for lifelong learning. He urged Universities to re-imagine their workforce and engage more with industry. Simon suggested that the learning environment must change to one that is on-demand, with micro and macro chunks of learning and assessments that are delivered when the learner is ready. He concluded with a thought-provoking idea that degrees may not be a relevant qualification in the future…

Industry Panel Session

The Industry Panel, facilitated by Glenn Campbell, asked our panellists what Australia needed in Higher Education to ensure we have the professions with the knowledge and skills to take us to the Australia we want to be in 2040.

Michelle Loader suggested that the biggest enabler for that is to embrace what we don’t yet know, to leverage technology, engage in personalised learning pathways, and Universities transforming into innovation hubs to commercialise. Cherie Diaz underscored the need for greater collaboration between Universities and Industry to enable growth, while Shivani Gopal spoke eloquently for inclusive workplaces, embracing gender, cultures, languages and future ways of thinking with a focus on experiential learning where core skills and lifelong learning build peripheral skills. Our final speaker, Dr Geethani Nair, who was unable to present on the day, offered themes to be raised on her behalf that pertained to professionals broadening their digital skills that will require constant adaption, suggesting that digital skills were pathways into jobs, not qualifications, with employer led digital skills standards.

As the discussion evolved, panellists agreed that there needed to be a shift in the way we think about ‘talent’, with professions needing to adjust their model to accommodate diversity and changing needs in career progression and development. The necessity to mentor and support entrants into the professions was also discussed as were critical issues pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion. There was consensus that there is a great deal of fatigue among individuals and organisations in relation to diversity and inclusion, yet the level of ‘talk’ is not matched with the ‘walk’, with many organisations implementing diversity quotas yet not focussing on inclusion, thus affecting women, people of colour, people of minority backgrounds, with a potential to erode workplace psychological safety. The panel urged organisations to embrace inclusion and provide equity in order to achieve diversity.

Government funding was also discussed as a mechanism to enable tangible outcomes and finally the panellists concluded with the need to reimagine closing the gap between education and industry, with higher education and vocational education and training becoming a more integrated ecosystem, creating more touch points with professional associations.

Education Panel Session

The Education Panel, facilitated by Professor Sally Kift, started deliberations by asking the panellists what the future of work might look like for the professions and what some of the barriers and enablers to that future are.

Mark Mckenzie talked about the agility of skills that will constantly reshape so education systems need to be equally responsive to reskilling and upskilling, suggesting that Micro-Credentials will be part of the solution whereby professionals will need to be well-rounded and have skills diversity. Jenny Dodd added that agility also extended to forming partnerships to deliver the education and training needed from TAFEs, Universities and professional associations. Peter Chesworth reminded us that with the current skills shortages, Australia cannot rely on migration as we did in the past and that companies are willing to pay to obtain the best talent. Troy Williams spoke about school leavers having four to five careers over their lifetime and how Micro-Credentials will enable the upskilling and reskilling of the workforce from one occupation to another. However, he cautioned that Vendor Micro-Credentials will also need to be recognised by industry and professional associations to enable this to occur.

The panellists all agreed that there is an urgent need for lifelong learning that is underpinned by an initial qualification requiring a lifelong learning strategy. This will require every quartile of the workforce to be actively engaged as there is a growing demand from industry for skills, not qualifications alone. These skills need to be aligned with what industry needs, however, the panel highlighted the disconnect between industry needing skills and education focussing on qualifications.

Panellists proposed a national skills recognition framework, backed by government and industry funding that challenges the industrial award framework which is currently based on qualifications, not skills. Ultimately, as the panel concluded, industry needs to step in to provide funding and workplace experience as part of the solution to the skills shortage. This will require embedding principles of equity and a more integrated approach between industry and professional associations, government and education. In other words, a more agile and integrated education ecosystem is required to enable the workforce of the future.


The National Summit was commended by the participants as an inspiring success. These Q&As crystalise the thoughts and take-aways from our Summit.

Q: Partnerships between higher education providers and industry provide an important opportunity to improve work integrated learning; and options to count work experience as credit towards micro credentials. What scaffolding or incentives do we need to drive greater participation in industry – higher education partnerships?

  • Higher education and industry can work together to track learning outcomes. Universities could work with employers to design new performance measures to demonstrate return on investment – not only in terms of acquisition of required workforce skills, but also in terms of impact on employee retention and progression.
  • In return, industry can feed back into universities the learning outcomes, and opportunities for optimisation based on emergent environmental factors.
  • Ultimately, we need people to be able to make informed choices between acquiring intellective capabilities or job skills, based on their life stage, career aspirations and capacity to pay. People need learning opportunities mapped to career goals – that track their return on investment.
  • Industry-higher education partnerships are happening at all levels of the learner lifecycle; however, it isn’t always easy to identify opportunities for partnerships. This is an area that micro-credentials and Work Integrated Learning (WIL), in particular, can help to shift. 
  • Elements that will be important for success include:
  • Clarity of roles in such partnerships
  • Understanding of the education and assessment model
  • Consideration of how to include SMEs as such partnerships tend to be driven towards larger/national organisations for scalability
  • Openness to extending the lifecycle (e.g. career outcomes)

Q: How do the panel think the professions will react to the concept of adaptive assessment based on reaching competencies in a flexible time-frame?

  • Universities and other providers of further and higher education already offer a huge range of flexible, stackable credentials, from which students can pick and mix to create their unique portfolio of knowledge, skills and capabilities.
  • To be truly adaptive within commercial timeframes, industry, government and educational institutions could align on the set of capabilities that will drive us forward. An aligned framework would form a common language around what we are skilling, hiring, and developing for. The underpinning framework would adapt to changing conditions, and the skilling and talent development models can shift accordingly.
  • Maybe we are heading towards an internationally recognised accreditation framework, so that course credits can readily be transferred between programs, providers (including in different countries) and pathways (blending higher education and industry application). For example, using blockchain technology, learners could build a lifelong record of learning attainment, at a much more granular and useful level.
  • There is growing traction of portfolio and skills-based hiring practices, which reinforces that employers are increasingly recognising the importance of both technical competency and the ability to apply/transfer that knowledge and skill.
  • To do this authentically requires assessment practices that are real-life/authentic and also reinforce the importance of reflection in the development process.
  • Operationally, it will require education providers of all types to shift their delivery models with a greater focus on scaffolding the learning process, building flexibility into their content, case studies, and interaction points with peers, and importantly a personalised feedback loop.

Q: What would it take to shift costs (who pays) for reskilling/ micro-credentials from the ‘student’ to the employer?

  • We’re already starting to see this change via employee focus on learning as a key part of their Employee Value Proposition.
  • Australia stands out amongst a minority group of nations where learning is seen as an expense not an investment in people. The EVP focus should help change that.
  • Also, the role of a ‘lifelong learning account’ that flows through life with the individual not the education provider or employee via tax rebates.
  • Revenue from research and innovation could provide a commercial return high enough to relieve universities from relying on undergraduate fees
  • Additionally, governments need to proactively support opening up the higher education sector to private and overseas investment in R&D, offering financial incentives to companies funding R&D. That way, universities gain access to private equity capital and participate in rich innovation ecosystems.
  • L&D spend data suggests that employers are already more likely to support spend on short-form learning.
  • The challenge (and opportunity) is to utilise the current traction in skilling/reskilling/micro-credentials to build trust with learners, industry, and employers so that the quality of outcomes from each learning interaction, understanding of likely “next steps”, and ease of recognition for credit is as seamless as possible.

Q: What are some of the practical solutions that employers can make for inclusion of diversity?

  • A focus on mentoring, inclusive training and education, leave, experience surveys and hiring practices are coming through as key outputs

Over the following weeks, we will update you on further insights and plans for upcoming Summits, so stay tuned!

If you would like more information or would like to share your thoughts on the Summit, please contact us on 1300 664 587 or CEO@Professions.org.au

COVID’s Startling Impact on Architectural Professional Practice

ACoP member Association of Consulting Architects (ACA)’s latest Pulse Check survey, its 6th since the pandemic, reveals startling impacts on architectural practices and the wider industry.

Building on the previous five Pulse Checks, this survey helps create longitudinal knowledge about the impact of COVID-19 and the architectural profession’s response; from changing working arrangements, skills shortages, a tight employment market and wellbeing pressures, reflecting a profession that is, on the whole, very busy. The findings are also very topical in relation to the Jobs and Skills Summit. 

At a high level, the key findings provide invaluable insight across a range of current topics. They reinforce concerns in relation to employment conditions, supply chain issues, the increasing costs of building materials and the skills and labour crisis across the industry.

They reveal the increasing cost of doing business, and the mismatch between this and business incomes, which have not risen at the same pace. They point to the impact all of this is having on the mental wellbeing of professionals – exhaustion, fatigue and the ongoing uncertainty of things.

The survey also confirms the extensive changes within architectural workplaces, following from the experiences of the pandemic. Flexibility is now both the norm and the future for two-thirds of responding practices. The pandemic has also been a catalyst for many to rethink professional priorities, business models and how they practice.

These are all issues that have far reaching impacts beyond just the architectural profession. This data has the potential to inform conversations about employment and labour force in relation to the hottest event in town – tomorrow’s Jobs and Skills Summit

ACA’s CEO, Angelina Pillai, who is also ACoP’s head of diversity, culture and inclusion warns that “governments need to respond swiftly to the crippling impact of the rising costs of doing business in Australia today as the findings prove that there are consequences affecting other professional sectors such as project management, human resources, procurement and construction in general, not to mention challenges with local councils, State governments and other consultants”.

For more details of these preliminary findings, head to the ACA website.

NAIDOC Week 2022 – How can Professionals Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

Each July, NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The theme for 2022 is a call to ‘Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!‘ As the unifying alliance for Australian professions, ACoP calls on all professionals to acknowledge the significance of indigenous culture in our national heritage and consider how we can actively contribute to this year’s theme, by sharing your member organisation’s plans to celebrate NAIDOC Week.


Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together”.

We are calling on each of you, our member organisations to share with us your plans, activities, events, and efforts to celebrate this year’s NAIDOC Week.

As a professional community of peers, with the clear mission of building and maintaining community confidence in all professionals, we have an inherent obligation to extend this commitment to championing change, offering support, and amplifying the voices that are leading the change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the land.

In conjunction with this year’s theme, Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!, and in the spirit of recognising and supporting the great work that each of you are leading, ACoP would be delighted to share your stories through our communications channels and ensure your voice is heard. Together with our member organisations we acknowledge and celebrate each of your efforts as a collective agency of professionals in this country, that aims to go beyond just words, but a signal of meaningful and genuine action.

We look forward to hearing from you, our professional community of leaders, so please send your content to CEO@Professions.org.au

Why Professionalism Matters More than Ever!

We are delighted to announce the publication of an essential white paper on the importance of professionalism which explores how professional associations and professional services contribute and impact our culture, economics, technology and governments.

What is professionalism, how is it faring today and what are the implications for professionals, organisations and institutions as well as our society in general? In a follow-on to his seminal 2010 white paper on Why Professionalism is Still Relevant, George Beaton focuses in his second white paper ‘Why Professionalism Matters more than Ever’ on the key attributes that have always defined and distinguished them: altruism, ethics and trustworthiness.