I hope that most of you participated in our recent survey that was designed to ensure the continued relevance and effectiveness of the Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA). The Board is conducting this strategic review as part of its regular five yearly strategic planning process and the information collected through this survey will be used to ensure that stakeholder needs, and recommendations, are considered.
Two key issues have emerged through this process and not surprisingly they are also the two issues currently being considered by other international branches of the Institute, including the UK. These issues are:
1) How do we continue to attract new members, given the changes in the extractive industry and historical membership definitions?2) How do we improve our governance structures to cater for volunteer participation and representation across industry sectors?
The challenges of a reducing traditional quarry market and growth of associated markets such as recycled products, coal and metalliferous mining, contract crushing and technology, have led us to consider whether our historical structure supports the future growth of the IQA.
Membership grade changes proposed in the UK will open up membership to a number of people not directly involved in quarrying. A proposal currently exists in the UK, which is supported by the IQA, to add an additional member grade of technical member. Technical members would be required to hold a minimum qualification of a Certificate IV and would cover a number of role definitions including supervisors and technical fields such as laboratory technicians, geologists, etc. This grade would offer full membership to a number of members who currently hold associate member status or are not members at all.
The traditional governance structures have become cumbersome and at times inefficient, given that our branch committees, Board and Council consist of volunteers. In times when most of us are time poor, we need to find better ways to govern so that operational issues are addressed by paid operational staff, membership of committees is not unnecessarily constrained by traditional rules and strategic decision making is made easier.
The roles of branch committees, the Board, the Council, and associated committees will all be reviewed as part of this process. The key objectives of the review are:
1) Better utilisation of Councillor and Board members’ time.2) Improved efficiency of IQA governance structures and management personnel.3) Utilisation of modern corporate governance best practices.4) A clearer direction for management on IQA governance and operational deliverables.5) A more meaningful mechanism for Council to “add value” to the IQA.
As we consider these key issues, and their impact, it is important that all of our members are involved in the discussion. The Board will be preparing a timetable for the review process for submission at the Annual General Meeting in Townsville on 18 September so I encourage you to have your say.
Institute of Quarrying Australia