As we farewell 2023 we also farewell some of our SESA Executive Committee members. Emma has been the SESA Communications and Engagement Lead for the past two and a half years, a difficult role in a time of lockdowns and video conferencing overload, with some key achievements with the help of volunteers Chris Browne, Mikaela Stewart, Sui Yi, Simon Sinnott, Ryan Messina, and many more, these achievements include:
Emma started volunteering for SESA in 2016 when our Victorian member Paul Street invited her to join some like minded systems engineers in the Victrorian transport industry. During this meeting she unwittingly signed up to be a member of the inaugural SESA Victorian Transportation Working Group. The committee soon recruited John Nasr as Chair, who immediately appointed Emma as Secretary. Soon Emma also coordinated local events, with attendance reaching over 200, triggering interest from the Victorian branch from EA, strengthening our connections with the EA team.
Emma soon attracted the attention of the then SESA President, the late Bill Parkins, who invited Emma to attend a SESA planning day off the back of her attendance at her second ASEW and subsequently offered her the role of SESA Victorian Branch Lead when recommended by John Risson, her predecessor. In this role Emma arranged local events across all systems engineering domains and supported the SESA Executive Committee with local engagement of members. When the SESA presidency was passed from Bill Parkins to John Nasr the structure of the Executive Committee was updated and Emma was encouraged to apply for the role of Communications and Engagement lead.
During her time with SESA Emma has also reviewed conference papers, contributed to industry papers, coordinated with like-minded technical societies, presented at events, and become a member of the INCOSE Institute of Technical Leadership.
On reflection of her time with SESA Emma recognises the immense benefit her volunteering had to her career as she grew her network, became recognised as a leader in systems engineering, learnt additional soft skills and grew her confidence. She recommends that anyone thinking of getting involved with SESA make a personal commitment to put in the effort and take all opportunities to meet new people, learn and grow.