Thursday 13th August 2020 – Michael Grogan – Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre

Michael Grogan is the State Director Victoria and Tasmania, and National Director Skills and Training at the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)

Thursday 9th July 2020 – Rod Scott Electronic Australia

Rod Scott, CEO of Selectronic Australia is our speaker for July and will be discussing designing and manufacturing battery based inverters and the renewables industry.

Thursday 11th June 2020 – MD of GEMILANG AUSTRALIA

Peter Murley of GEMILANG AUSTRALIA will be talking to us about Australian bus manufacturing and moving to zero emission transport.

Thursday 14th May 2020 – Peter Roberts @aumanufacturing

You are invited to the first ever VIRTUAL Victorian Vernier Society lunch meeting on Thursday the 14th of May 2020 at 1pm via Zoom. Peter Roberts of @aumanufacturing is our guest speaker.

Vernier April 16th 2020 Meeting Cancelled

President Peter and the Vernier Committee have decided that it is prudent to cancel our meeting planned for April 16.

Our meeting on May 14 will be considered when there is better information available and the implications of meeting for lunch become clearer.

Thursday 12th March 2020 – Byron Kennedy from SPEE3D

Byron Kennedy one of the entrepreneurs behind SPEE3D high speed 3D metal printers.


For the second year running, it was a privilege for Peter Sutton and Jack Parr of the Vernier Foundation to attend the Dandenong High School Awards Night 2019 and present the Foundation awards to 3 of the school’s outstanding STEM students!

The event was held in December at the Robert Blackwood Hall in Monash University and was packed with proud students and parents and the night was particularly pleasing as it was the culmination of celebrations for the school’s centenary “1919 -2019: A hundred years celebrating the past, present and future”!

The evening was a mix of presentations and musical and theatrical interludes, showcasing the amazing talent of some of the young people and was a compliment to the school’s professionalism, the discipline of the students and the accomplishment of the teachers.

The three Foundation awards were for individuals, chosen by their teacher, who made both an individual and a team contribution in each of the three disciplines; STEM, Robotics and Systems Engineering.  The awards were funded through donations from Sutton Tools and from individual donations of members and both Peter and I were pleased to be invited to personally present them to the winning students.

The STEM award went to Mohammad Mohsen Ali who completed 3 STEM based elective in Year 9 – STEM, IT and Graphs and Technology.  His teachers were proud of his leadership skills within the group, his perseverance and a strong understanding of the design process.

Mohsen, as he is known to his teachers, main project was the design and build of a small moving car and he believes the project gave him “a better view of how the world of STEM works “.  Mohsen says that engineering is one of his interests for the future as he always wanted to design and build his very own technology. Mohsen states “The Vernier Foundation scholarship has given great support to my family but has given me the determination and pride for my future engineering to come.  In the future I hope I take part in a computer engineering career”.

The Robotics Award went to Vaishnav Vengilat who was a key contributor in his Year 10 Robotics class.  He was an integral part in the class’s best functioning team; constructing a robot that could complete almost all of the required tasks, an impressive achievement!  His teachers also complimented Vaishnav for his academic contribution to the robotics class, contributing helpfully to the class discussions and demonstrating and admirable work ethic.

Vaishnav is seen here with his donation certificate and Vernier Foundation representatives Jack Parr and Peter Sutton of Sutton Tools.

The final recipient of the Systems Engineering Award with Adeel Jaffrey. Adeel was unfortunately not able to personally receive his award on the night but it was well deserved for the highest overall score in systems 1&2 and a consistent commitment to his mechanical project and documenting the process.  He responded to inevitable setbacks with resilience and innovation and above all the drive necessary to persist though the variety of problems that practical tasks create!


Thursday 13th February 2020 – Vernier Luncheon Meeting

Our program for this get together is going to be a surprise, so come along and start the New Year with renewed enthusiasm for Australian manufacturing!

A great lunch and good conversation is always ensured.

A poor PMI result for November is only one part of a much bigger question!

by: Jack Parr Vernier Society Member

Those eccentrics who, while driving, listen to the Senate would have caught this week a debate following the release of the latest PMI manufacturing figures for November.  It soon predictably  became a polarised argument with the opposition manufacturing spokesperson seizing on the result to lampoon the government for having no policy for the economy; no plan to lift wages, productivity, employment.  Apparently, it also demonstrated a government led by a heartless PM who does not care for the millions who will go without this Christmas – all on the back of one negative PMI.  The Government response was equally perverse; this is a strong economy with 1.4m jobs created, a budget back in balance, the low personal tax rates increasing disposable incomes to their highest level.  Just ignore all the other economic signals! 

Above all this political rhetoric though there is a much bigger macro picture  about the reality of manufacturing, which was well articulated by Adam Creighton in his article “Manufacturing Further Decline” (Australian 3/12).  These are some of the points he makes:

  • The number of manufacturing jobs collapsed by 30% across the decade to 2016 and has now shrivelled to 7% of the workforce far below comparable nations.
  • Manufacturing makes up 16% of the workforce in Germany, Japan, Switzerland; Canada with similar economy has 1.7m workers compared to ours at 0.7m.  In Sweden and Israel with far smaller populations, advanced manufacturing is thriving.
  • Quoting Economist Bob Burrell, we are now dependent on commodities and immigration to pay our way and generate growth
  • Last year our trade deficit in advanced manufacturing was $185b, while our surplus in commodities was $187b.  The only way we can afford these advance.
  • Manufacturing and farming have traditionally been the drivers of productivity and hence high living standards; higher productivity means higher wages both in manufacturing and across the economy
  • Today, wages will be determined more by the price of minerals
  • All countries have seen a steady fall in manufacturing employment but most have fostered new hi-tech sectors.
  • The government pins its hopes on population growth and a weaker exchange rate to bolster growth as the last gasp of the resources boom plays out.

Creighton and others clearly realises, as all in the Vernier Society do, that a vibrant manufacturing sector is vital for the prosperity of the nation.  The question is how are we to develop the direction and policies that will sustain and regenerate this sector?.  It seems that neither side of politics can or even wants to answer this question!  The question of ‘how’ should be the question for the imminent, next decade.  Vernier, along with all who understand the real productive value of manufacturing must keep this question front of mind!

Thurs 5th December – Dinner with Partners

Claire Kelly is our speaker and she has been involved with MHFA since 2003.
We will then be delighted with amazing musical performances from Stewart Kelly, Douglas Kelly and Jordan Auld.

Member Company : DTCo

DTCo is founded on providing a low-risk,easy-to-engage scalability option for design and drafting teams. DTCo has a team of full-time, permanent mechanical designers in Melbourne and has partner businesses interstate. Their designers are highly practical, typically from a trade background, and proficient in 3D modelling, drafting and modern design workflows. 95% of the work they do is carried out on our client’s site, fully integrated with their teams. DTCo has access to the full suite of Autodesk products and Solidworks licenses.