Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Annual Meeting of the Four Societies: February 2024

Vince Di Pietro at the Annual Meeting of the Four SocietiesThe audience of more than approximately 60 people who attended the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Four Societies (Australian Institute of Energy, the Australian Nuclear Association, Engineers Australia, and the Royal Society of NSW) in the Metcalfe Theatre of the State Library of NSW on 21 February 2024, enjoyed an outstanding presentation and a lively discussion on “Resilience before Readiness — '... for the want of a horseshoe nail'”, delivered by Vince Di Pietro AM CSC FRSN, former Commodore, Royal Australian Navy, and former CEO of Lockheed-Martin Australia.

In his talk, Vince Di Pietro ranged over disciplines and his own very varied experience, beginning with his leadership of the recovery from the 2019–20 fires and floods in the Shoalhaven. His message was that infrastructure in Australia, in particular in the regions, is not ready for crises. Communications networks are weak, if they exist at all, from roads through to mobile networks. When power goes down, we cannot buy petrol or food. He generalised from this case to others — the defence forces, based as they are in regional Australia, would be impossible to mobilise if power and internet were interrupted, or if roads were cut. He called for renewable and distributed power networks and more broadly for a rethink of what resilience in Australia means. 

The presentation is now available on the Society's YouTube channel. Some images from the occasion are available at this link for viewing and downloading.

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