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Q&A with New IQA Chief Executive Officer Jane Schmitt


New IQA Chief Executive Officer Jane Schmitt sat down with Quarry to discuss her vision for the institute.

The Institute of Quarrying Australia recently appointed Jane Schmitt as its new chief executive officer. She spoke with Quarry about her career so far, plans for the IQA and what she will bring to the organisation.

What were your roles before joining the IQA?

I started my career as a lawyer specialising in personal injury law and then moved into an executive leadership and board roles.

It didn’t take me long to realise that how much I enjoy growing positive, thriving, and high performing teams. Teams with these attributes are much more likely to achieve strong operational results, even in complex and challenging environments.

My foray into membership organisations began when I took up the role of chief executive officer and company secretary at the Australian Medical Association Queensland, one which I stayed in for over 10 years. Member based organisations are very satisfying places to work, supporting members throughout all stages of their career, developing beneficial stakeholder relations, undertaking advocacy on behalf of the sector, and introducing new and innovative ways to improve member offerings. The team plays a part in improving the sector and the work lives of individuals working in it too.

Most recently, I spent over three years with Mater Group in Queensland as their group chief of corporate affairs and growth. This was another fabulous role in a mission-based organisation with 10,000 staff providing high-level healthcare to Queenslanders.

At the end of last year, I moved into consultancy undertaking interim executive roles. I was introduced to IQA, acting as their interim CEO which has led me to taking the role up on ongoing basis.

What interests you about the quarrying industry?

I have worked across several different sectors over my career, including in construction (for Master Builders Queensland) and energy (for CS Energy as their interim company secretary). I see lots of similarities in the quarrying sector.

I was attracted to IQA and the industry due to the opportunities that it presents, particularly to further broaden our education offerings, member benefits and attracting and retaining people in the quarry industry workforce.

What are you excited to see in the role?

I think there many opportunities to support members and the industry some of which I have mentioned above. One key one is promoting the sector to the community to grow and diversify the workforce. We can do much in this space, so I’m looking forward to engaging with the membership to do so.

How do you intend to help engage the extractive industry?

Getting out to our branches and sub-branches and our member’s workplaces is what I am doing and will continue to do with the team. I want members to know who their IQA team is and to feel very comfortable in sharing their ideas and vision for the industry with us.

We are holding our IQA conference in Adelaide from 15-17 October 2024 with the theme of Innovate and Create. The conference will shine a spotlight on sustainability, the circular economy, operating cost reduction ideas and digital transformation. The conference will be a great opportunity for me to engage with the industry, but more importantly the industry to come together away from their busy working week to think, consider, learn and celebrate. Early bird registrations are open now so pop onto our website to register.

What do you hope to bring to the role?

I hope to bring fresh ideas and energy to our small professional and capable IQA team and in collaboration with our members, deliver a supportive and innovative place to come together, deliver high quality education courses and provide a solid and valuable suite of member benefits.

What has your first week been like?

As I’ve been lucky enough to test the waters as IQA’s interim CEO and can say that the industry and members have been very welcoming. I could not help but be impressed by the high level of enthusiasm of the membership who provide their time and ideas to support their IQA colleagues and work to promote and improve their industry wherever they can.

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