Celebrating World FM Day 2021

On 12 May 2021, facilities management (FM) professionals across the globe celebrated World FM Day under the theme "Standing Tall Beyond the Pandemic". This year’s theme reflected on the way that facilities managers have risen to the many challenges created by COVID-19.

From the largest office tower to industrial parks, from sporting facilities to residential buildings, the FM profession touches nearly everyone, everywhere in some way. Eleven years ago, Global FM instigated World FM Day to acknowledge the vital work of facilities managers and to promote the FM industry on the international stage.

The pandemic has seen FM professionals called upon like never before, with unforeseen demand for resilience, compliance, flexibility and adaptability. The industry has responded to the constantly changing circumstances with innovative measures such as new health and safety procedures, increased cleaning and hygiene regimens, and digital platforms to ensure occupant safety. 

In Australia and around the world, FM professionals continue to play a pivotal role in making built environments available, so that governments, businesses and societies can continue to function as effectively as possible. World FM Day 2021 provided an opportunity to pause and reflect on the industry’s recent achievements and new-found recognition. 

“The pandemic has shone a light on facilities management,” said Nicholas Burt, Chief Executive of the Facility Management Association of Australia (FMA). “Notwithstanding the many challenges and hardships, the industry’s resilience and adaptability have been on full display – as has the crucial role that FM professionals play in maintaining a safe, healthy and resilient built environment.”

As Australians enjoy a new kind of normal, the FM industry can be proud of all it has achieved – from the successful reopening of office buildings, to keeping supermarkets, hospitals and other essential facilities functioning safely and efficiently during lockdowns.

The Serco team in charge of FM services at Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) in Western Australia has played an important role in the public health response to COVID-19 since February 2020. Serco was recognised at last year’s FM Industry Awards for delivering excellence in FM in the healthcare category.  

“We have always prided ourselves on being agile, innovative and closely connected with our health colleagues as one team,” said Helen Robinson, Serco Contract Director at FHS. “The way in which we have pulled together over the last 15 months has been outstanding.”  

“As is often the case with FM, the contribution of many of our services to the day-to-day running of the hospital, and the support we have provided in response to COVID-19, happens behind the scenes. As we look to the future, we will continue to prepare, innovate and respond to support the hospital in providing excellent patient care."

The FMA celebrated World FM Day with a series of state-based events held across Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth) during the week of 12 May, and in Adelaide on 26 May. These events provided an opportunity for facilities managers to network, hear how FM leaders overcame recent challenges, and raise a glass to the people in our industry. 

Lachlan Hunt from BME Group Building & Facilities Management, who attended the NSW event, described it as “a fantastic morning celebrating our industry and the work we do each and every day.”

Sonya Charles, Talent Acquisition Manager at Hays, who also attended this event, said it was “good to see some familiar faces and reflect on the year we've had”.

The FMA would like to thank all the sponsors who supported our World FM Day events: GJK Facility Services, ServiceFM, Urbanise, TK Elevator, Axis Maintenance Services, FireMate Software, FSI (FM Solutions), HiFlow Industries, Mechanical Project Services (MPS), SKG Cleaning, Integra Water Treatment Solutions, Height Safety Engineers, Radi Electrical, Rescue U Plumbing Sydney and Zip Water.

See more photos from this event.