Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (AIQEF)
At a Special Meeting of the Council of The Institute of Quarrying Australian Division, (now The Institute of Quarrying Australia), held in Adelaide on 11 May 1982 the constitution of the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (the Foundation or AIQEF) was approved. Subsequently the Foundation was incorporated as a charitable organisation to raise, manage and make grants for educational and training in quarrying and related industries.
The Foundation’s Council comprises the current President of The Institute of Quarrying Australia and the next five Past Presidents willing to serve. Two additional councilors can be appointed. The Foundation’s Councilors are charged with the responsibility of managing the funds in an efficient and effective manner, and to use them only as allowed by the organisation’s constitution. The Foundation’s charitable status demands the benefits that are derived from their use must be available to all in the industry and not restricted to The Institute or its members.
In 1982 funds were raised from an appeal to industry with the purpose of initiating the development of the national off-campus course in quarrying. This initial capital of the Foundation was later boosted by monies donated from Institute’s Australian Division and its State Branches and then from surpluses from the Institute’s annual conferences and payments from the publishers of Quarry magazine.
In more recent times the proceeds from the Annual AIQEF Auctions and interest earned on funds invested are the principal sources of income for the foundation.
Direct operating costs of the Foundation are minimal – amounting to less than $10,000 per annum and consisting mainly of meeting costs, secretarial reimbursement and audit fees.
Changing Focus of Foundation Grants
In recent years the foundation has made grants in the order of $200,000 to $250,000.
Initially the Foundations focus was on supporting the development of off-campus training, but with the introduction of the competency based system of training and assessment the focus has changed to supporting the development and delivery of training to provide the knowledge and skills required for competent operators, supervisors and managers in the quarrying and related industries.
Major projects that have been supported included:
- The Off-campus Course in Extractive Industries – between 1982 and 1987 the Foundation contributed $78,000 towards the development of the resources necessary to commence the Certificate of Technology (Quarrying). The Foundation contributed a further $75,000 between 1990 and 1994 towards the rewriting of the course materials for re-accreditation.
- Assisted Private Scholarships – these were designed to provide mentor support and payment of costs associated with block release for students studying off-campus at Box Hill TAFE. Ten students were guided through the course at a cost of $78,000 between 1995 and 2000.
- Training Materials and Program Development and Management – the identification of training materials and delivery requirements and the developing, maintaining and upgrading training materials and programs for the extractive industries and managing their delivery has required substantial effort and funding. Since 2003 the Foundation has contributed over $2 million for this purpose.
- Awards – from 1987 until 2005, the Foundation provided funding for an annual Australia Award that recognised excellence in writing and publication of technical papers. In 1996, the Award was renamed the Alex Northover Award in recognition of Alex’s long and valuable service in the development and implementation of training and education in the industry. In 2006 the award was changed to providing recognition of the best portfolio of evidence provided by a candidate for a Certificate IV, Diploma or Advanced Diploma applicable to their employment in the industry. The Award is currently valued at $2,500, plus $2,000 each towards the cost of the three finalists attending the Institute’s annual conference.
The future for the Foundation looks bright. Total accumulated funds are now approaching $3.6 with investments spread across a range of short, medium and long term instruments, each providing its own combination of appropriate interest rate and level of risk. Returns are such that relevant projects approved by the Foundation are capable of being financed largely from short term investments without any long term drain on the Foundation’s assets.