Anntonette has the coolest job – she’s the Executive Director for Operations and Communications of the Australian Space Agency.
She commenced in the Agency soon after it was established in July 2018. Anny is responsible for the operations of the Agency and ensuring it meets it government requirements as well establishing its governance arrangement. In addition to managing the parliamentary interaction, finances, human resources and event management, Anny is also responsible for all communications for the Agency and has a personal goal to meet the key values of the Agency – namely to inspire Australians and ‘do cool stuff’.
In 2019, Anntonette was identified in the Financial Review’s as one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women and the University of Technology Sydney’s young graduate of the year.
As a chartered professional engineer, Anny graduated with honours at the University of Technology Sydney and took on a career in sustainability. Working across multiple Government agencies as well as not for profit and consultancy – Anny brings more than 12 years as a senior executive capability to the Agency.
This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken during this episode
It is not 100% accurate.
REFOCUS: Anny Dailey Transcript
Anny Dailey: [00:00:00] Australia’s always had a very long history in space. In fact, we were the third country in the world to actually launch a satellite. So after Russia. And after the U S we were the third country, and that’s such a strong period of time that Australia is not necessarily new to the race, even though the agency is fairly new.
[00:00:19] But the Australian space agency, as it is now is actually a very much an industry focused agency. It’s not like the old world, which was tends to be, you know, major governments like NASA and ISA, which are multi-billion dollar government type agencies. And that I think is perhaps what it was, and now space is moving into what I call a space 2.0, which is faster, cheaper, and more accessible to, to everyone. And the main purpose is for us is to drive the industry so that we can have lots and lots of startups. Like this is the most exciting time for engineers in Australia because we’re pumping every type of Avenue way to get engineers, businesses, entrepreneurs, to, to have access to the international community, to there, to bid for works through, you know, uh, agreements we set up.
[00:01:09] But the fact that we’re trying to make it easier and simpler through a regulation changes to make it available. So before we didn’t have any regulations, so nobody knew how to really work in the Australian space. Yeah. And now, businesses can have avenues and pathways to utilize. And so that’s our main purpose is to actually grow the industry.
[00:01:29] I think we’re trying to grow it from which is about 10,000 employees now in the space industry to about 30,000 in a space of less than 10 years. And that’s. It’s a phenomenal target for such a young agency and it’s not growing the agency. It’s very important. It’s growing the businesses and the industry cause out there somewhere is, is another space X startup that could be doing, some very fabulous work in space and, and it can now be done in the garages, in the university halls, in the science labs at schools. And, that’s what we’re trying to tackle.
[00:02:07] Mel or Dom: [00:02:07] Yeah, I had actually heard that the space area is actually evolving so much now because of industry involvement. It’s definitely the way to move this space evolution forward.
[00:02:20] So that’s it’s great to hear actually. And are you s eing an overwhelming supporte for everything? I could imagine that the definitely would be getting backing from anyone and everyone wouldn’t it might be, that’s just my. Um, idealized view, but I’m sharing because it it’s spicy. It’s one of those things that seems to just bring out the best in everyone, particularly in engineers.
[00:02:43] It’s that, that exploration, that, um, sort of uncharted area
[00:02:48]Anny Dailey: [00:02:48] It it absolutely is. And everybody is trying to get on board. That’s for sure. It’s one of the few areas that has actually got bipartisan support. So it’s not a political issue as such. It’s something everybody wants to get their hands on. Push off.
[00:03:02]Mel or Dom: [00:03:02] I was actually in the back of my head thinking, have you been disrupted a bit by the whole ups and downs in Canberra.
[00:03:08] Anny Dailey: [00:03:08] Actually I can, you know, the day that, you know, parliament stopped and the house of reps, you know, it was called short on a Thursday morning, the Senate kept going. And on that very afternoon, the Senate actually passed the regulations that were required by the Australian Space Agency. And that that’s actually good because it shows that it’s one thing that people want to keep seeing action happen.
[00:03:30] And government for the long part is there to make it happen.
[00:03:33]Mel or Dom: [00:03:33] What would you consider as a hot topic in engineering environment at the moment?
[00:03:39] Anny Dailey: [00:03:39] Well, I’m going to go to space because it’s, it’s, it’s the coolest thing around and I’d say the hottest topic at the moment is showing engineers that there’s, there’s going to be new jobs. So. It’s not the skills that we go to university for. I feel like the future in the next five to 10 years is going to be a lot of people going to be doing engineering without doing traditional engineering.
[00:04:01]Space is one of those things that affects every part of the economy. And for instance, I feel like engineers have got such an awesome slot to play in there. Like for instance, in, in agriculture, We’re designing satellites and systems to be able to monitor, like for instance, the Murray-Darling basin authority, you can monitor for water theft in the Murray-Darling basin based on satellites and technologies.
[00:04:25] Yeah. Which is really important when you’re looking at policies as big as water .
[00:04:30] So they’re designing a satellite technology now that will actually bring across Australia the ability to actually see and know your position, your exact position within 10 centimeters, that’s across
[00:04:43] Mel or Dom: [00:04:43] times.
[00:04:44] Anny Dailey: [00:04:44] the whole of Australia. And then in your cities and that where there’s mobile phones, it’ll be down to three centimeters,
[00:04:50] Mel or Dom: [00:04:50] That’s scary.
[00:04:51] Anny Dailey: [00:04:51] at the moment in your cities, it’s about five meters.
[00:04:54] So even though your Google earth can tell you, Oh, you’re you’re on the side of the road or that side of the road, it’s still accurate to about five centimeters.
[00:05:02] If we can get satellite imagery, for instance, down two to three centimeters in your city areas or 10 centimeters, you know, we haven’t even designed all the robotics that can be operated from, you know, further distances away that does not require people to be out in really remote locations.
[00:05:19] And the one thing that geosciences Australia is looking at is that. The exciting thing is you can have somebody like a person that doesn’t see well, so, uh, and vision impaired person, and all of a sudden, you know, that. And in Australia, you need, you know, a seeing eye dog or a stick, or you need a support person at some point, which can be quite expensive nowadays.
[00:05:40] You know, all we need is, is smart engineers to go. Actually I’ll design the system that you can use your phone and you know what? You don’t need to have an eye-seeing dog. You can go and have your freedom walking down the street, because this will tell you a beep at you. If you’ve got a pothole, if you’ve got a step, because it will be able to tell you in three centimeter increments. And then of course, there’s the exciting world of autonomous vehicles and the way that’ll go in the future with this kind of technology.
[00:06:05] So this is why I feel like. We can only imagine what we can use this technology for. I mean, I think more wineries are thinking, you know, using this technology to, to load know their levels of water in massive vineyards or to track animals with virtual fencing. So I guess these are just ideas. I don’t even know if businesses are doing all of this yet, but that’s the possibilities.
[00:06:27]And to be honest, that’s an engineer’s job.
[00:06:29] Mel or Dom: [00:06:29] yeah, that’s right. And it’s, it’s, engineer’s kind of becoming future thinkers, futurists in a way it’s like learning the technology and learning what’s the cutting edge and then applying it it’s I think it’s the application of this technology as well as needed for
[00:06:48] Anny Dailey: [00:06:48] Absolutely. Absolutely. And if people have the solution for STEM, cause I know that we’ve just announced a STEM ambassador for government to try to encourage more people into STEM. Uh, I know that that is a tackle. That’s an area that I’m particularly interested in , my areas sphere of influence in STEM as well and inspiring Australians.
[00:07:09] And, um, we’re just getting started to figure out how best to approach that.
[00:07:14]Mel or Dom: [00:07:14] um, We’ve spoken to somebody recently and they were saying that his opinion is to put an a in STEM. Um, because the, the innovation side needs a bit of an artistic license to think outside the box.
[00:07:27] Yeah. So rather than having that formulaic sense of those sort of areas, just being able to come up with new concepts and sort of let your mind run free rather than just working within the certain sort of structure and laws, which yeah, it was very interesting idea to just develop.
[00:07:46] Yeah. Um, how does innovation play into STEM? Your opinion?
[00:07:52]Anny Dailey: [00:07:52] Obviously it’s a phenomenal link because it’s linked to entrepreneurial activity. Funnily enough, lots of space enthusiasts are artists. So some come through the hard applied sciences and some coming from the very artistic visual element. And to be honest, there’s a company in Melbourne that does virtual reality systems and that’s very artistic focused and they are helping to train astronauts to, to work in space by using really awesome, sophisticated, virtual reality system, you know, goggles on and, you know, actually get to experience and see it. So there’s obviously, uh, there there’s an element there.
[00:08:28] Mel or Dom: [00:08:28] definitely an element there. Um, but I love the idea of using technology, Dom recently showed me a tape measure.
[00:08:34] Oh, the, um, yeah, the it’s a string measure for visually impaired. It was in, Create where it’s, it’s a series of clicks so that you can measure things without actually having to see or read off a tape measure, which I just thought was absolutely sensational. And it also beams back to a smartphone so I can read out the there’s an audible component to it, so it can read out what what you’ve actually measured. Uh, so that was the most fascinating thing I’d ever seen. It’s just so disruptive.
[00:09:02] Anny Dailey: [00:09:02] And that’s what I think we’re trying to do in the space industry very much. So is to create tools and avenues to allow businesses to boom and capitalize on. So all of that is being enabled by us, which is why the Australian Space Agency is not going to be a NASA ISA. It’s not going to be that size.
[00:09:19] It’s going to be the size of trying to help businesses to have all of that capacity there. so the agency is only about 20 people. So it’s a tiny little agency. But it’s very, very nimble because we’re doing lots and lots of different things.
[00:09:32] But I do think that where the jobs are, we will know if we’ve done our jobs well, there’s lots more engineers employed in, in very cool field of space. And there will be need for mechanical engineers Dom.
[00:09:44] Mel or Dom: [00:09:44] I’ll be there.
[00:09:48] I’m happy to design space toilets for quite frankly, I was … my background is all in water and umm in sanitary services. So more than happy to help out. Do you know, the, the ultimate gift I could ever buy him is a space suit to be able to find one or another. I really, I haven’t looked that hard, but, um, they also, I do know they cost a fortune, so,
[00:10:10] Anny Dailey: [00:10:10] No, not as bad as you would think. I would recommend Wickman adult space camp. If you ever want to go to Huntsville, Alabama. I did Space Camp and I, and I’ve got my space suit right here. Actually, I wear it quite frequently. So So books Week I was the popular mum, cause I turned up as the astronaut and my daughter turned up as Amelia Earhart and together we just look like, I dunno, the funny duo.
[00:10:34] Mel or Dom: [00:10:34] Oh, that’s brilliant. Your house must be so awesome. It’s almost moving. Okay. Anyway. Um, okay. Have we covered off what your thoughts are on the future of engineering?
[00:10:45] Anny Dailey: [00:10:45] Yeah, I think so. Cause I, I feel like if you’re in space. You’re in the future.
I’d like to thank everyone for listening to another great episode of Engineering Heroes as we present the new dawn of engineering challenges for Engineers Australia. your hosts have been Melanie and Dominic De Gioia. You can view this episode show notes or learn more from our podcast by visiting our website, www.EngineeringHeroes.com.au
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