Adelaide beckons ? for Aussies and Kiwis

The first national conference held by the then Australian branch of the Institute of Quarrying was held in Sydney in 1956. I am told it was a soup and sandwiches affair, but hard hitting on industry speakers for the times.

That has started an ongoing legacy that you can see on our web page – www.quarry.com.au – under the subheading “Heritage and History”.

It was way back in 1990 that I attended my first IQA conference, held in Hobart. Phil Sidney was the conference chairman and it’s where I met Graham Smith, the Tasmanian branch secretary who cajoled me into joining the IQA. I have attended most conferences since that year and find they are a fantastic conduit for learning, meeting industry people and getting to know the “IQA family”. Each conference has used the local branch’s “flair” to make its mark, and has had delegates exclaiming that it’s the best conference yet – just like the International Olympic Committee chairman who declares at the end of every Olympic Games that the previous fortnight has produced “the best Games ever”!

Registrations are now open for the IQA’s 58th national conference in Adelaide this year, from 14 to 17 October. The conference will be staged at the Adelaide Convention Centre, opposite the Adelaide Oval. Both buildings have recently had extensive infrastructure upgrades, using our industry’s materials. That fits nicely with the theme – The Infrastructure Boom – Our Industry Building Communities. While our sector certainly faces impacts resulting from the uncertainty of the economy and ongoing difficult market conditions, this conference will showcase national and international examples of diverse quarrying practices, infrastructure innovation and diversification.

The 2015 IQA conference promises a tailored, high quality program, and the keynote speaker Dennis Wagner, the managing director of the Wagners Group, will be a must hear!

The MSP Group of Companies will host the conference’s equivalent of an “Aussie Hillhead” – a live and static equipment display at McLaren Vale Quarry. As always, the conference program includes not to be missed social functions, a comprehensive trade show exhibition and numerous opportunities for networking and meetings with old and new colleagues and friends.

Even at this stage, we have to acknowledge the support of the conference sponsors and exhibitors, especially for the Hitachi Welcome Reception, the Komatsu Dinner, the Caterpillar Gala Dinner, the Orica Partners Day, the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (AIQEF) Golf Day and the AIQEF Brunch/Auction. Please register early and tell your friends and workmates to consider attending. Further details can be found at www.aomevents.com/IQA2015

I should mention that our neighbour, the Institute of Quarrying New Zealand, is holding its conference in Hamilton from 15 to 18 July. Our over-35s study tour is culminating with the conference and I hear the NZ team, led by our borrowed conference MC Steve Davis, intend doing a similar “tour” of what South Australia has to offer in October. I am sure none of us will mention Australia’s win over New Zealand in the final of the World Cup cricket – provided they don’t remind us about the Bledisloe Cup!

Finally, have you been thinking it would be nice to be recognised by your peers and industry for the work you do? Do you know someone who is a bit shy about nominating himself or herself for an award? Is your worksite one of leading practice that needs recognition? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, the 2015 IQA Awards program is for you.

Following an extensive industry, member and sponsor review, the awards have been officially “launched” in this month’s magazine. Please make sure you review the awards on offer. There were 110 applications last year, and it would be great to top this and reach 150. The more the merrier!

No doubt there’s plenty to put into your calendar!

Until next time, stay safe!

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