Industry News

Women in Quarrying conference full of ?fizz?, verve

Held on 17 August, at the Cathedral Room, at Adelaide Oval, the 2018 South Australian Women In Quarrying (WIQ) Conference was a sold-out event. Guests and speakers travelled from as far as Sydney, Queensland and Western Australia to take part in the “People, Products and Progress” event.

The WIQ collective took a fresh approach to opening the event with a great tongue-in-cheek song and video production about a day in the life of a female quarry worker. Produced by Jen Dainer (Industrial Arc Photography) and sponsored by Groundwork Plus, it saw an animated acting performance from Michelle Connolly (CPR Group) and Tegan Smith (Groundwork Plus), with a musical accompaniment by The Beamish Brothers.

Former SA WIQ co-ordinator Cathy Moore hosted the day and opened the event by acknowledging this year’s premier sponsor MAQOSHC and other sponsorships from Groundwork Plus, 888 Crushing and Screening Equipment, Boral, Hanson, Hallett Resources, Southern Quarries, Epiroc, CPE (Crushing Plant and Equipment), and the SA Department of Energy and Mining.

The day’s program showcased both technical and personal presentations, starting with keynote speaker Susan Fanning, who shared her “no fuss” approach to achieving professional and personal goals. She encouraged the attendees to “protect your fizz – don’t let anyone take the fizz out of your champagne”. The guests on the day all took home a sponsored copy of Susan’s published book Achieve it, which has received fabulous feedback.

Medvet professional Deborah Krauss was next on the program, sharing an informative overview on drug and alcohol testing within the industry, and generating some great questions and statements from the audience.

Other technical presentations included Bill Farry, the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and spatial data lead for Groundwork Plus, who gave an engaging presentation on UAV flight technology and applications. Bill presented imagery of how this technology is used in an environmental context and in terrain mapping and volume calculations for mining, land development and infrastructure projects.

Shaun Fanning, the aggregates vice president of Metso Australasia, also brought to the lectern his well-seasoned knowledge of modern crusher design, plant implementation and product diversity. Shaun showed impressive visuals of how 3D technology can improve plant installation and end product quality.

The (then) IQA CEO Paul Sutton presented an informative discourse on the Australasian Academy of Quarrying and personal stories of success through adversity. 

Jo Marshall, the self-labelled “Chief culturiser”, is dedicated to improving workplace culture and held a captive audience as she discussed how to improve your “AQ” – or Adversity Quotient  – and offered sound advice of how to “not panic” when all feels like it’s raining down!

Caz Fisher, the health, safety and environment manager of Adelaide Brighton’s concrete and aggregates division, courageously shared an emotional personal story highlighting the importance of getting to know your workmates and setting up strong networks to help yourself or others through times of loss, depression, anxiety and adversity. Caz brought attention to “Do you see what I see?” World Mental Health Day and encouraged awareness in our everyday lives (

The day closed with “The Great Debate”, where the topic “Legislation is good for business” was fiercely debated by Team Positive – comprising Brett Brown (the general manager of Adelaide Brighton‘s concrete and aggregates division for SA and the Northern Territory), Clayton Hill (IQA President) and Martin Reid (mining projects director of the SA Department of Energy and Mining) – and Team Negative – featuring Leanne Parker (regional HR manager, Hanson), Jen Dainer (director, Industrial Arc Photography) and Keith George (the SA general manager of Hanson). This was a “hold onto your hats”, roller coaster ride of witty argument, and to and fro banter. The result was much laughter from the guests and Team Negative winning by a very close audience vote of four points!

SA branch chairman Andrew Wilson presented membership certificates to Department of Mining and Energy representatives Shaan Lamey, Cathi Buttfield, Charlotte Baker and Terry Menadue (Department of Energy & Mining), as well as Emma St Clair (Hallett Resources), Lara Jones (Hallett Resources) and Marina Champion (Holcim).

As Cathy Moore’s term as WIQ (SA) co-ordinator came to an end, she said she could not have been more delighted to host the 2018 WIQ conference.

“Sponsors were tremendously generous this year, giving the WIQ (SA) collective the opportunity to offer another beautiful event space in the Cathedral Room at Adelaide Oval, professional photography and videography, thought-provoking speakers and marvellous take home packs. As a collective, I feel our purpose to promote opportunities for personal and professional development was well exercised today.”

Hanson operations manager Sarah Bellman was nominated at the SA branch’s AGM to take over the reins as the SA WIQ co-ordinator for the next term. The collective welcomes Sarah to the role and wishes her every support and success in continuing to move the WIQ initiative forward.

Cathy Moore is a member of the IQA’s South Australian branch committee and a former SA Women in Quarrying co-ordinator.

Photographs courtesy of Jen Dainer, Industrial Arc Photography.

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