Adelaide became the focus for Australia’s facilities management professionals as ideaction.2015 got into full swing from May 24-27. Run by the FMA, the Facilities Management National Conference & Exhibition once again showcased just how dynamic the local facilities management industry is, with Australia’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, also providing his support.
During the conference presenters, key notes, panellists, debaters and site visits took their cue from the conference theme ‘Changing the Game’, demonstrating how agile the industry is and the many ways in which it evolves and innovates to ensure it remains relevant and in tune with the changing needs of building occupiers and owners.
Clearly the challenges the industry face come from both within and without, and from areas as diverse as advances in technology, changes to legislation and shifts in community expectations. As such FMs scrutinised, debated and shared learning’s across a wide range of topics including emerging technology, sustainability, BIM and strategic and workplace management.
As the home for some of the country’s most advanced facilities, Adelaide proved to be an ideal location and a living example of a built environment that is “Changing the Game”. Ideaction.2015 was one of the first major events to be held in the newly rebuilt Adelaide Convention Centre, while the conference also took advantage of the extraordinary SAHMRI Building for Welcome Drinks and the new Adelaide Oval for the Conference Dinner and site tour.
Introduced this year were two new and very well received program highlights, a first timer’s breakfast and an FMA Branch Committee member’s Planning & Development day.
The Great Debate also proved a popular attraction, as some great minds took up the challenge of unpicking the Asset Management v Facilities Management “what’s the difference?” conundrum.
For the first time, the Association brought a range of specialist facilities management advocates to the panel table to discuss the challenges experienced by their part of the industry. This included retail, health and aged care, education and residential. All six panellists had a different story to tell. If anyone thought that the industry was homogenous in its approach to different facilities then this session really was an eye opener – as each panellist explored their area of speciality it became clear that the more customised the facility, the more customised the service delivery.
The National conference dinner was a night of surprises including the Member Award announcements and special guests, not least of those surprises was a video message from the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott. Introduced as “one of the newest friends of facilities management” by FMA Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Burt, who noted “it was pleasing to see how recognition for the industry continues to grow.”