Editor's Desk

Enhancing educational initiatives, benefits for the quarrying industry

Many of you would have heard of the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (AIQEF). However, during my visits to the branches, I have encountered some confusion about the role of this organisation and how it operates.

The AIQEF was founded in 1982 as a small organisation to manage and use the funds raised from the appeal to the quarrying industry to initiate development of the national off-campus course in quarrying. Since then, the AIQEF has grown into a charitable organisation that actively supports a multitude of educational initiatives designed to provide benefits to the extractive industry and those employed in it.

In the 30 years since its inception, the AIQEF has provided almost $1.6 million dollars to assist the quarrying industry in developing training material and professional development courses, assisting IQA branches and others with funding for training activities, and supporting the IQA with funding for its education officer. Eighty per cent of this funding has occurred in the past 10 years.

The AIQEF operates independently of the IQA and its charitable status has been granted on the condition that benefits from the
Foundation are available to everyone in the quarrying sector, not only the IQA and its members.

The AIQEF derives its funds from donations, fund raising activities such as the annual auction, raffles and conference golf day and interest on investments and funds held.

Each year, IQA branches are asked to estimate how much (if any) AIQEF funding they may need as part of their budget process. I encourage all branches to consider what educational activities would benefit their members and, if funding assistance may be required, identify this in the budget process. Even if not budgeted, applications can still be made for funding assistance to the AIQEF provided that there is an educational benefit in the activity being held.

The support of the AIQEF has been invaluable to the IQA in the development of training material, professional development programmes and technical seminars. Resources such as the Safety Management Plan Workbook (“Blue Book”), Environmental Awareness Training, and the publication Men of Stone, among many resources, would not have been possible without the AIQEF’s financial support.

Many successful branch technical and safety seminars also would not have been possible without the AIQEF’s generous assistance.

The AIQEF also funds the annual Alex Northover Award that recognises the best prepared portfolio of evidence submitted to a registered training organisation in support of the applicant seeking accreditation for either the Certificate IV or Diploma in Extractive Industries. In addition to providing the grant to the winner, the AIQEF also provides funding for the top three finalists to attend the IQA’s annual conference.

The AIQEF has been, and continues to be, a valuable contributor to the quarrying industry at large. I encourage all branches to identify opportunities for us to provide education to our members and others in the quarrying industry. Where funding is required, submit an application to the AIQEF so that these educational activities are not hindered by lack of funding.

If you require assistance with the process of applying for funding, contact the IQA General Manager Paul Sutton, tel 0429 438 554 or
email general-manager@quarry.com.au

Institute of Quarrying Australia

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