25 years of FMA

The Facility Management Association has been supporting its members and the industry since 1988. Some of the key highlights of the past quarter century include:


Inspired by a tour of speakers from IFMA, Australian facilities managers investigate setting up a local chapter of the US-based association but eventually see the wisdom in creating an Australian body. In August, a Board then called the International Facility Management Association of Australia (IFMA Australia), is elected and its inaugural chairman Malcolm Campbell is appointed.


The year kicks off with the launch of the Victorian branch and in May the Queensland branch holds its first forum. Sydney plays host to the very first National Conference, attracting 120 delegates from around the country. 


A change in structure sees the establishment of a National Board, the creation of a separate state structure and the formation of a NSW committee. The second National Conference includes a trade exhibition that attracts 50 exhibitors.


In December, the current name of Facility Management Association of Australia Limited is formally registered.


By now the FMA has branches in ACT, Western Australia and South Australia. Bruce Boell takes on full-time CEO responsibilities in an honorary capacity. He looks forward to "working himself out of a job" and handing over to paid executive director. Initial discussions are undertaken with international FM associations to ascertain the potential for future co-operative ventures.


It’s a busy year. International negotiations result in the formation of Global FM, comprising Australia, France, Japan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the USA. Australia has a high profile, it is announced that the Global FM conference will be held in conjunction with the FMA conference in 1997, and National Chairman, Geoff Parnell becomes the first Vice Chair of Global FM. At home, the inaugural Excellence Awards are held in Melbourne as part of the National Conference & Exhibition. The first full-time paid executive officer is appointed, national office moves from Sydney to Melbourne and a Strategic plan is launched.


New initiatives include a joint venture to develop an Australian Building Environmental Assessment Method for commercial offices and the launch of the FMA accreditation and education scheme. For the first time, the Conference & Exhibition is held in Brisbane. Membership hits 800.


The Office Churn Research Report generates a great response while 'ideaction', the name adopted in 2000 for the National Conference & Exhibition, goes regional and is held in the Barossa Valley. Membership has now reached 1300 and a website is launched.


National councils are formed to address the four key areas of community, knowledge, advocacy and support, as outlined in the strategic plan, ‘Agenda 2007’. A landmark agreement is established with the Building Services Research and Information Association allowing for the review and modification of publications to suit Australian and New Zealand markets. The first ‘How to’ risk management manual is released.


An Action Agenda is submitted to the Australian Government, providing a framework for cooperative action between industry and government. The Government announces the Facility Management Action Agenda and a Strategic Industry Leaders Group is formed while on the international front a ‘Partners of Excellence’ agreement is undertaken with IFMA, BIFM and SAFMA.


‘The FM Action Agenda – Managing the built environment’ is launched, well timed with the release of Access Economics Facilities Management Industry Report a couple of months later.


A new governance structure is announced with national committees focused on the areas of membership, education & training, communication & marketing, conference, innovation & best practice. A new category of affiliate membership for young professionals is created.


Facility Perspectives is launched. A strategic partnership with TEFMA is established and a new strategic plan implemented.


Discussions with the Australian Government includes ensuring adequate representation on the proposed Built Environment Industry Innovation Council and maximising benefits from the establishment of a Green Building Fund for the purpose of retrofitting for energy efficiency. The FMA becomes involved with Standards Australia Technical Committee. A Policy Advisory Group is established to provide industry specific advice in the formulation of FMA policy, position statements and government submissions.


FMA adopts the IFMA Facility Management Professional (FMP) and Certified Facility Manager (CFM) credentialing programs


Full organisational restructure and a review of the FMA Constitution is commenced. The Good Practice Guide series is launched and the National Councils are relaunched as Portfolio Groups to better harness the benefits of member expertise and experience. The most comprehensive Government Budget Submission ever undertaken on behalf of the industry is completed.


Now in its 25th year, the FMA has made significant strides towards the advancement of the industry and in providing the support and recognition of FM professionals over the past two and half decades. Through such activities as the launch of the Tasmanian Branch Committee and a Diversity Special Interest Group in 2013 it looks ahead towards the goal of improving education and career pathways the FMA continues to be a truly representative and inclusive body working for the betterment of all FMs. 


FMA launches its new brand and begins work on a new website. As the Association continues to build and strengthen its advocacy role it engages with a wide range of key industry stakeholders and is represented on over 20 technical and policy committees, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and local mirror committee on the development of an International standard in facilities management.

2017 – 2018

ISO Technical Committee 267 publishes four international standards for facilities management: 


FMA launches the Indigenous Engagement Strategy and awards the inaugural Indigenous Scholarship for the Diploma of FM. The strategy sets out how the Association plans to address the systemic disadvantage of Indigenous Australians by creating education and employment pathways within the FM industry.


Following seven years of involvement by the FMA, Australia completes adoption of the four ISO standards for facilities management. Organisations can now be accredited to ISO 41001 – a landmark event that will place the industry on the world stage.