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Education Foundation returns to the IQA fold

The Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation has formed a new governance structure under the Institute of Quarrying Australia, in a move expected to generate savings of up to $50,000.

The agreement sees the Foundation (AIQEF), formerly an independent charitable organisation, wind up its existing operations to now function as a committee under the Institute (IQA). The AIQEF was a separate entity established by the IQA in 1982 to provide training and education grants for quarrying and related industries.

The IQA Board and the AIQEF Council have worked collaboratively and unanimously agreed on the new governing structure for the foundation, seeing it now function as the IQA-AIQEF Committee. The move is designed to help save on costs associated with securing governance compliance and charity status.

“Operating as the IQA-AIQEF Committee will eliminate cost duplication and secure the foundation within a sound, future-proof legal framework,” AIQEF chair David Cilento said.

“We will simply integrate the new AIQEF Committee Charter with the IQA Constitution and the committee will retain all our existing council members.”

Governance review

Cilento said the AIQEF was required to review its governance structure following recent changes to charities legislation. In order to comply and continue to operate, the Foundation would have needed to become an incorporated entity.

This would have incurred significant additional costs between $30,000 to $50,000, including insurance cover, preparation and exchange of documents with regulators and recurrent administration costs of governance compliance.

“We looked at a number of options,” Cilento said. “The first was [to] incorporate and take on the additional costs and continue to operate the way we were. The second option was to merge with another charity, and the third was to actually wind up the Education Foundation.”

When considering the third option, Cilento said it was important the AIQEF came under the operation of another organisation with a similar educational purpose.

“More recently, the IQA had been through an ongoing process of improving and changing their governance and established themselves as a charity as well,” he said. “If you look at our purpose, it aligns very well with the IQA’s, so it made sense to potentially wind up the AIQEF and incorporate it into the IQA.”

Under the agreement, the AIQEF will maintain its independence, while protecting its operation into the future by applying the benefits of the IQA’s governance and insurance structures.

Preserving funds

IQA board director and former president Clayton Hill said costs that would have been imposed on the AIQEF would have essentially taken funding away from members and the industry. The IQA receives 95 per cent of the Foundation’s grants each year.

“So it made complete sense for us. We already have a professional company secretary who works with us one day a week, and we have done a full governance review and update over the last five or six years, so are very well placed,” Hill said. “Also having a charity status and the tax emptions we hold makes perfect sense for us to help manage both those funds.

“My board and the AIQEF Council are motivated by our unity of purpose and shared values. So, the new charter preserves the foundation’s heritage.”

Hill added: “Funding from the AIQEF is a vital part of the IQA’s educational and event strategy. We anticipate member support for this change, with the financial benefits of streamlined service delivery, improved efficiencies and lower costs ultimately accrue to the membership.”

The motion to establish the IQA-AIQEF Committee and wind up the Foundation was formally put to voting members at the IQA’s Annual General Meeting on 3 October at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong. It was passed unanimously by the membership.

About $4 million of funds will be transferred within six to nine months to a new account that is part of the IQA’s consolidated revenue. These funds will finance the IQA’s capital projects going forward, as well as other continuing professional development and awards opportunities.

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