Message from the SRA-ANZ President
As a (relatively new) network scholar, the different ways in which we are all connected never ceases to amaze me. What amazes me even more is how much we don’t know about how widely connected we actually are, how much more closely connected we can be, and how much we can achieve when we reach out to connect to others.
My first year as President of SRA-ANZ has taught me (yet again!) about the extraordinary power of networks. As a small society, we rely heavily on the time that individual members very generously volunteer to get initiatives off the ground. However, this year has shown that the collective resources of SRA-ANZ amount to more than just the sum of time volunteered by our modest membership base. Our deceptively small society has proven to be a network of hidden networks, which has allowed SRA-ANZ to put down 2017 as a year of achievement.
Our 2017 conference, ‘Risk in an Interconnected World’ was one of our most well-attended conferences in recent years. Under the guidance of SRA-ANZ councillors Martina Hoffmann and Anca Hanea, and members Edith Arndt and Tracey Hollings (all from the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, University of Melbourne), the conference effectively connected the society to new and existing members, with expertise spanning disciplines from biosecurity to transport safety. Most notably, the conference linked SRA-ANZ to the Australasian Bayesian Network Modelling Society (ABNMS), whose co-organisation of the conference has resulted in an exciting new connection that we hope will lead to many more productive collaborations in the future.
Through the creative and capable efforts of Martina Hoffmann and Steve Corin (Synapt Consulting, New Zealand) our members have been connected to the latest developments in the various fields of risk analysis through our regular newsletter and website updates. Under the leadership of Steve Corin, the society has likewise been connected to the latest thinking in risk through the SRA International webinar series. This year has also marked SRA-ANZ’s stronger engagement with industry, led by Barbara Campany (GHD Australia), and with policymakers, led by Naomi Cogger (Massey University, New Zealand).
Our society has been working hard to connect our own risk experts with the rest of the world. In line with this, we have received strong support from the editorial board of the Journal of Risk Research. We are currently working with the journal to put together our very first SRA-ANZ special issue, aimed at showcasing the novel work of our members. We hope to get this published in 2018, and hope to continue sharing the work of risk scholars from our region to a global audience.
Finally, the society continues to share its expertise in shaping risk management standards through its participation in Standards Australia committee OB 007, which is currently in the process of updating the international risk management standard ISO31000, among others.
While we have been able to reach out and establish productive connections with others this year, we need to increase our network connectivity even more. We need to broaden our disciplinary connections in order to truly be in a position to meaningfully foster cross-disciplinary interconnections. It is only by building bridges across areas of risk expertise that we will collectively be able to robustly think about complex emerging risks, creatively craft solutions to managing the ever evolving risk landscape, and expand the frontiers of risk analysis.
We now optimistically look forward to 2018 and beyond, confident that we will be able to build on the strong connections we have established this year!
Sandra Seno-Alday, SRA-ANZ President