Education, Industry News, News, Training

WIQ conferences go from strength to strength

The Women in Quarrying (WIQ) initiative promotes networking among members of the quarrying industry and encourages and creates opportunities for personal and professional development.

While the conference program is designed specifically with women in mind, it welcomes attendance from all industry colleagues. Both conferences focused on the importance of gender balance, inclusion and diversity in the workplace.

“Diversity creates innovation, strengthens the talent pool and leads to better outcomes,” IQA CEO Kylie Fahey told Quarry. “The IQA’s dialogue is shifting towards diversity.”

{{quote-A:R-W:175-I:2-Q:“Diversity creates innovation, strengthens the talent pool and leads to better outcomes.” -who:Kylie Fahey, IQA CEO}}The events were well attended by both women and men from a diverse range of roles within the quarrying industry.

The IQA was pleased to see senior industry leaders attend the NSW conference and support the WIQ, including Phil Schacht and Grant Farquhar (Hanson), David Bolton (Boral), and Dana Dupere (Benedict Industries). Similarly, the Queensland conference was well attended by senior leaders such as David Smith (Holcim) and Clayton Hill (IQA President, and a director of Groundwork Plus), as well as many others.

NSW conference

The NSW conference was held on 8 February at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney.

The conference acknowledged and celebrated women’s contribution to the extractive industry and created a platform to further encourage women’s involvement in the extractive industry.

It also provided an opportunity for people across the industry to connect, network and share their experiences.

IQA CEO Kylie Fahey opened the conference, followed by the national WIQ co-ordinator Tegan Smith, who gave an overview of the WIQ’s work in 2018 and discussed its national strategy for this year.

Other speakers on the day included:

  • Clarity and perspective coach, speaker and teacher Vashti Whitfield, who conducted workshops on the impact of unconscious bias on sustainable long-term success, and the mitigation of unconscious bias through legacy leadership.
  • Fiona Robertson, the non-executive director for mining and energy at Whitehaven Coal Limited, who spoke about leadership.
  • Dr Dallas Wilkinson, the Asia-Pacific managing director of the Dennemeyer Group, who discussed mentoring programs for diversity and inclusion.
  • Chloe Quinn, Orica’s NSW and ACT territory manager for quarries and construction, who outlined business strategies for improving diversity.
  • Dr Ali Burston, who spoke about the IQA’s WIQ NSW Mentoring Program for 2019.

The conference was sponsored by Orica, Hy-Tec, Holcim, Boral, Hanson, Groundwork Plus, VGT, Komatsu, 888 Crushing & Screening Equipment, Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA) and the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation.


Queensland conference

The Queensland conference was held on 21 March at the Glen Hotel in Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane.

In her opening address, Fahey urged delegates to “find where the magic happens”. She encouraged women to share their stories. Her own anecdote, incidentally, was about how she enrolled in a stand-up comedy course “many moons ago” to improve her public presentation skills and confidence.

Mary Thompson was the keynote speaker. She reflected on her career and discussed her story of making the transition from quarry owner to managing director of McLeod Rail. By her own account, it was an unconventional journey by road and rail.

Other speakers included:

  • Adrian Caneris, from Biodiversity Assessment and Management (BAAM), who spoke about the work that quarries do to preserve wildlife populations – both flora and fauna –within their buffer zones.
  • Sarah Morgan, from the Vaxa Group, who explained to delegates how they should use social media to connect with the local community, customers and stakeholders.
  • Lauren Charlton from Boral, who spoke about the company’s diversity activities.
  • Suzannah D’Juliet from Hastings Deering, who explained the company’s flexibility and inclusion program.
  • Angela Schilling, who discussed her “Kindness Project”, which implores everyone to be “kinder to each other”.

Michelle Connelly from the CPR Group facilitated a panel discussion comprising speakers from throughout the day. This was the perfect wrap-up to a very enjoyable and worthwhile conference program.

The conference was sponsored by the CPR Group, the major supporters of the WIQ Queensland branch, as well as Boral (platinum sponsor), Groundwork Plus, 888 Crushing & Screening Equipment, Holcim Australia and the CCAA (gold sponsors), and Minprovise and Hy-Tec (silver sponsors).

Further WIQ events are being planned this year by the IQA’s NSW Central West sub-branch (14 June) and the South Australian branch at the Adelaide Pavilion (12 July). For further information about WIQ activities within your region, visit the IQA’s Women in Quarrying page for updates.


More reading
Women in Quarrying conference full of ‘fizz’, verve  
Anita Waihi: Promoting opportunities for industry women 
Quarrying women look ‘Beyond the bench’ to the future 
Gender equality progress mapped in new report 

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