Just over a year ago we celebrated the Centenary of the IQ with the quarry garden at Chatsworth and July 2018 has seen another milestone for the Institute. Our colleagues in New Zealand are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and I had the pleasure of attending their conference in Hamilton at the end of July to mark the occasion.
It was a personal privilege to share in the celebrations and to see how much the Institute of Quarrying New Zealand has contributed to progressing the profession and the support it has from the industry at large there.
It is also another reminder that we are a truly international organization, with Affiliated National Institutes and branches in five countries, and over 5,000 members working in more than 30 countries around the world. Through all of our networks our focus remains constant, to support the development of the highest standards of operation amongst our members and to promote the value they bring to the industry wherever they are located.
Along with joining in the celebrations, the New Zealand event also hosted the annual IQ International Presidents’ meeting, which was a great opportunity to meet with my counterparts. Over the last two years we have begun to look at the opportunities the Institute has to grow internationally and how we can work together to achieve our collective ambition. This year our discussions have progressed the concept of the Presidents’ Fund, designed to support the development of new projects supporting our charitable aims. Our industry is genuinely international and the Institute needs to continue to work towards a clear and consistent approach to support it.
Here in the UK we are rightly proud that in many ways the industry has led the agenda, which has been replicated in other parts of the world. It is also true that the value of an organization like ours is the collective knowledge of our international membership. The ability to share innovation and best practice across countries and continents creates greater value for our members and helps move the profession forward as a whole.
As an Institute and as an industry we all want to continue to tackle the core issues such as health, safety, operational best practice and leadership. Building and growing this community of professionals capable of delivering on those aims must remain at the heart of our purpose.
Finally, it is personally very pleasing that as I come towards the end of my term of office with the Institute, one of my final formal acts as President is to congratulate the Institute of Quarrying New Zealand on achieving the 50-year milestone and to wish them continuing success for the future.