80 years running, and the Gippsland committee is still uniting local engineers to share information and improve capability in the region.
The Gippsland Group of the Institution of Engineers was formed in the latter years of the second world war around the time the State Electricity Commission was developing brown coal-based power generation.
As then and now, many of the engineers driving development were visitors to the Valley looking for community activity.
The new group provided a forum for Gippsland engineers to draw on the resources of visiting professionals to expand their knowledge and share life experiences.
The Gippsland Committee has diverse membership and represents elements of the power industry, manufacturing and utilities.
The group has always been extremely active and for most of its time has run eight to 10 formal events a year.
For much of the committee’s life, the third Thursday of the month has been designated as the night engineers get together for a site visit or technical presentation and share their experiences over a meal.
Engineers Australia spoke to current committee Chair, Catherine Ritchie, about the rich history of the committee and its goals for the future.
Ritchie said the committee was, and still is, about mateship and a means to learn and problem solve.
“Our purpose is to unite engineers locally and share knowledge and stories to fortify our engineering capability.”
80 years ago, the first committee members took the initiative of formalising their informal catchup’s and turning the group into a committee with voting rights within Engineers Australia.
Now, Gippsland is home to numerous energy transition projects such as the Marinus Link and various offshore wind farm projects.
In recent times the committee has sponsored major events that embrace our industry change away from fossil fuel.
The committee are hosting a celebration event to mark 80 years of evolution from its inception in the 1940s to the current day.
Ritchie will be presenting at the event and will take attendees on a journey providing a snapshot of the committee’s history, touching on significant contributions by the committee throughout the years.