John Stanton has been a key figure in the resources industry for over 20 years, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
To commemorate his efforts, the Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) awarded him the President’s Medal at its recent national conference.
The President’s Medal recognises an outstanding member of the IQA for ongoing service to the extractive industry that demonstrates leadership and the advancement of the industry as a whole.
Having been in the industry for more than two decades – including roles as IQA President, Secretary for Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) and with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) – Stanton was a worthy recipient when his name was called.
“I received it with great honour,” he told Quarry. “There was plenty of other people in the room that have been in the IQA for just as long as I have and probably have done just as many things that I have. So it’s a hard one to say there’s one particular standout person that should get the medal.
“It’s good recognition. I’ve had many likes and comments on LinkedIn congratulating me and it’s all very much appreciated.”
Stanton has undoubtedly had a lot on this plate. He attributed his success in maintaining such a heavy workload to his ability to prioritise and set boundaries.
“It’s important to have the capacity to say no and not actually being on so many different committees – because I was on a lot,” he explained.
“And when I was doing the President’s role as well, it was soaking up a lot of time. But in reality, it is basically my job to be involved in the industry, both mining and quarrying.”
His work with IQA, AusIMM and the MCA is a way of repaying those industries.
“I feel a responsibility to give back to the industry that’s employed me,” Stanton said.
“Getting involved is a much better way of understanding the industry because you’re that much deeper into it. When you’re on all these committee boards, you learn a lot more about what’s really going on in the industry, and you’ll meet a lot of people.”
Stanton also stressed the value of people remembering why they started in quarrying.
“You’ve got to look past the workload and remember why you’re doing it,” he said.
Next on the agenda
Having secured the President’s Medal, Stanton’s work is far from finished.
“Minerals Council-wise, I’m still on the board there and still chairing the Environment Committee and involved with the OH&S committee,” he said.
“At AusIMM, I stepped back from being Secretary only last year after all those years, purely because I thought it was time for someone else to have a go of it – I’d been on as secretary for 11 years. But I’ll still be on the committee, as I have been since 1993.
“I’ll also remain on the committee and organising and chairing the GeoBash, which was a geology seminar once a year held in Tasmania. I’ve been on that since 2014 and still doing that because that’s fun.”
Stanton also continues to be involved with the IQA’s Education Foundation committee, which focuses on the managing the Institute’s existing funds as well as funds it is growing through various methods to put back into the industry for education.
“We basically need to have a renewal process of members and younger members; they need to get access to various training courses and education products,” Stanton said.
The IQA is all about education, so having new education products available for members both face-to-face and online is crucial, Stanton explained.
“The products that we have today will probably be useful for a couple of years before you’ve got to renew them,” he said. “So we can’t just develop something and say, ‘Great, we’ve done that and it’ll be good for 10 years’ because it’s not and things change.”
Likewise, Stanton remains active in Tasmania, which has a special place in his heart.
“Tasmania hits above its weight,” he said. “It’s mining and mineral exports (make up) 60 per cent of the revenue that comes into the state.
“We’ve got mines that have been running for 80-plus years and still producing and employing people and doing it properly, as far as environment and safety and so on.
“And the metals that we produce in Tasmania are broad. There’s silver, lead, copper, gold, zinc, iron ore. All coming from a small state and mostly coming from their mountainous regions on the west coast.”
However, Stanton’s current focus is the Annual Tech Weekend, which he said had grown substantially.
“No longer is it just Tasmanian-based, there’s people flying in from New South Wales, Queensland, New Zealand to come for that weekend,” he said.
“That’s a bit of a legacy (and) I’ve got a couple more years left in me doing that.”
This feature first appeared in the June issue of Quarry.