Our 2023 annual general meeting (AGM) was held in November, hosted by the Wortley Group in Melbourne.

Paul Besanko, Isaballa Hawkes, Matt Newell, Tony Rogers and Ben Wortley were all re-elected to the AFRDI Board. Elected to join for the first time were Rob Burnham (Resero) and Dan Lafranchi (AFA). Continuing members are Steve Dimotakis (returning to the Board) and Dane Walsh.

The executive committee remain Tony Rogers (re-elected Chair), Dane Walsh (re-elected Deputy Chair) and Ben Wortley.

In his report the Chair said:

“It is evident we have navigated through turbulent times marked by numerous challenges. The confluence of rising interest rates, geopolitical tensions, supply chain disruptions, and labour shortages has created a complex landscape, demanding resilience and adaptability from both the institute and our stakeholders.

The Board and management team are very aware of these challenges and are committed to not only reacting judiciously but also proactively shaping a strategic pathway forward. Despite the uncertainties, there are rays of hope and potential opportunities on the horizon.

We are pleased to share that the Victorian Government is in the process of introducing a supply arrangement for the Education sector, mandating products to be certified to AS/NZ Standards. This presents a promising avenue for additional work and growth.

Furthermore, a review of Government procurement contracts, particularly focusing on the sourcing of sustainable materials and supply chains, is underway. In the wake of growing environmental concerns, our sustainability Standard continues to be a pivotal element in our testing and certification processes.”

The Chair thanked retiring Board member Patrizia Torelli (AFA CEO) for her contributions, and also his fellow Directors. In reply Patrizia mentioned she had enjoyed her time on the AFRDI Board over the past 10 years, learnt a lot about product standards and certification and thanked her fellow Directors and Management.

AFRDI General Manager, Ian Burton, outlined the performance of the institute over the past year and highlighted:

  • the growth in certification in a number of product lines;
  • the release of a comprehensively updated and expanded version of AFRDI 142 – Rated Loads for Office Chairs, including a new 185 kg test level;
  • equipment investment;
  • thanked Patrizia for her contribution; and
  • thanked the voluntary Board for their support and direction.

November 2023

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