Person of Interest: John Fleming
Security Expert & General Manager – ASIAL
The Security ‘Person of Interest’ series places a spotlight on a different security expert each month. Sharing engaging and interesting insights on their background, career and what current trends they view as important.
Despite his work directly influencing how security is carried out in Australia, few people know the name John Fleming and the impact he has on our national security standards.
Currently the General Manager at Australia’s peak industry body, ASIAL, John is vital in overseeing and directing the development of security standards through the International Organisation for Standards.
Road to the Top
Originally from the UK, John emigrated to Australia as a security technician in the 1980’s, where he quickly secured a role with Wormald Security installing security systems in Perth. After some time, he was transferred to Sydney as part of a project where he worked with security equipment manufacturers.
It was through this role that John became aware of Siemens, a Switzerland based organisation who, at the time, had a small selection of security products that were sold in Australia through third party suppliers. This rapidly growing organisation had made the strategic decision, at that time, to set up its own service and distribution business in Australia under the name Alarmcom, to which John was appointed as Managing Director.
“This was a very exciting time” recounts John,
“We developed a product portfolio based on key Siemens products like seismic detection and mirror optic PIR’s and then imported other key products, some of which are still in the market today.”
John cites DSC control panels, Southwest Microwave, Dedicated Micros and Geoquip as well-known examples.
“We acquired another distribution business Leptonics and developed the organisation into a national products business with offices in each state. As the Managing Director I spent a lot of time traveling locally to our state offices, meeting key customers and travelling internationally for management meetings and strategic partner manufacturer meetings.
John recalls this period as both highly challenging and rewarding. This time enabled him to engage in further education, first with the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) and then undertaking the Siemens S3 senior management program at Babson University. More recently, John completed a Post Graduate Degree ‘The Psychology of Risk’ at the Australian Catholic University which he resonates with in today’s security environment.
Following the success Alarmcom, which merged into the Siemens Building Technology division (SBT) in the early 2000’s, John joined SNP as the Electronics General Manager with a mandate to expand the business from being a ‘Sydney centric organisation’ to a national operation covering sales, installation, servicing and A1 graded monitoring centres.
In 2012, John moved into his current role as the General Manager at the Australian Security Industry Association Limited (ASIAL). In this role John has represented the industry on several key areas, such as;
- ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority), regarding registered cablers and cabling competency
- NSW Police Security Licensing Enforcement Division (SLED)
- Department of Education
- The SSO Artibus Industry Reference Committee
Additionally, John, through ASIAL, has played a key role in the review of course modules for the Cert 11 and 111 in Security operations, Cert 11 and 111 in Technical Security and the Cert IV in Security and Risk Management.
Most notably, John’s work with ASIAL has seen the re-establishment of the EL031 technical committee with Standards Australia, in addition to providing a structure for the adoption of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) CCTV standards, which were released to the Australian market in April 2020 as the AS/NZS 62676 series.
According to John, the development of renewable energy sources and ethical supply lines will be key to the ongoing success of the industry. He also feels that Artificial Intelligence (AI), fuelled by data, will become the engine that drives innovation in security. He believes that once we can begin to understand information in more meaningful ways, then we can drive more effective security outcomes.
“For me, the security industry is a fulfilling career that has offered many opportunities. I have met many talented, passionate, professional security people and made lifelong connections in the industry. It hasn’t always been easy and there can be difficult and intense periods, but ultimately it is a very rewarding career. Once you are in the security industry it is hard to leave.”
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