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International Presidents Unveil Global Development Fund

First published in the August 2018 issue of Quarry Management

When the UK’s Institute of Quarrying (IQ) marked its centenary in 2017 it was as much about looking to the future as it was celebrating its past. Just 12 months on, this year’s International Presidents’ Meeting in New Zealand provided the perfect setting to discuss how IQ can become a truly international organization fighting fit for the future. 

Presidents representing IQ UK, IQ Southern Africa, IQ Australia, IQ Malaysia, IQ Hong Kong and IQ New Zealand met at the annual QuarryNZ Conference at the Claudelands Events Centre, in Hamilton, on North Island. The event was hosted jointly with the Aggregate and Quarry Association of New Zealand and took place between 17–20 July 2018.


The international IQ presidents attending the meeting included host Peter Morgan, IQ New Zealand; Miles Watkins, IQ UK; Clayton Hill, IQ Australia; Ir Lee Kam Fatt, IQ Malaysia; Lazarus Meko, IQ Southern Africa; and Alfred Chan, IQ Hong Kong. They were joined by incoming IQ UK President Phil Redmond, managing director of Hanson Aggregates UK, and IQ UK chief executive James Thorne.    

The annual International Presidents’ Meeting is a forum for each IQ to update on its local and regional activities, successes and challenges. This year’s meeting included a number of new discussion points, amongst which was the concept of an ‘International Presidents’ Fund’ and the machinery of global collaboration.

International Presidents’ Fund

An ‘International Presidents’ Fund’ has been a subject of discussion by IQ’s international presidents over the last two years. The thinking behind it is to create a non-domiciled collaboration owned and jointly funded by all Institutes. 

Clayton Hill is President of IQ Australia. He explains: ‘The International Presidents’ Fund is designed to support the core purpose of the Institute of Quarrying, as specified within the charitable objectives that are set down for the Institute. That is to advance the science and practice of quarrying internationally, in the interests of the public at large. 

‘As a group we now have an agreed, collective vision to deliver this objective. We have formed a central fund comprising contributions from all Institutes and International Branches. The fund is specifically set up to support professional development opportunities and internationalization of the quarrying industry.’

James Thorne, IQ UK’s chief executive, is part of the international team that has pulled together the detail that underpins the fund. He says: ‘The quarrying and minerals extractives industry operates wherever reserves of minerals can be extracted economically. As an institute we need to continue to work towards a clear and consistent approach to support our members and the sector around the world.

‘The International Presidents’ Fund is the Institute’s first truly global collaboration. It has been created and agreed by all regions and is owned and financed equally. The Fund presents a fantastic opportunity for each IQ to work more closely together for the local advantage of our many thousands of members.’

Examples of criteria to apply for the International Presidents’ Fund include:

  • the development of a new training course on a specific issue that will help improve  practice either globally, regionally or in a specific country where it is recognized there is a need to improve standards;
  • the development of new materials and guidance to support individuals in developing or maintaining their knowledge of key topics;
  • research projects designed to identify and develop new understanding of key issues and support the industry’s evolution and development. This could be at a global level or aimed at specific regional, in-country issues;
  • projects to support the education and awareness of the general public to the value of the industry.

Miles Watkins is current President of IQ UK and will be handing over to Phil Redmond later this year. He says: ‘Over the period of my tenure as President I have seen a willingness and enthusiasm for a closer alignment of each Institute around the world. I see the International Presidents’ Fund as a first step on a possible path to much closer collaboration as an international Institute. We are all part of the same professional community, regardless of geographical boundaries, so it makes sense to work towards international standards of education and professionalism.   

‘The cascading benefits of an international IQ would be felt by members, employers and governments alike, as well as enhancing the industry’s wider reputation and public perception, improving people’s lives and making the sector a safer and better place to work. I also believe this would nurture and drive innovation, which would benefit all through the sharing of best practice.

‘We want our members to feel they are part of a progressive membership organization that adapts to new opportunities. At the same time, we will not lose sight of our responsibilities to our local members in each of IQ’s international territories. So it’s business as usual for our membership, albeit with one eye on a more international alliance, which has to be good news for everyone.

‘There is a considerable appetite for this and as a group we are all in agreement that it is for the greater good of the industry, but there are still a number of hurdles that need to be negotiated given the complexities of the international legislative landscape. Amongst a raft of things, we need to look at how we build an international member offer at the same time as meeting the needs of the Institutes and their branches locally. A step in the right direction sees the development of an ‘e-branch’ to allow those not domiciled in a country currently covered by the Institute to take part in the professional network.’

Phil Redmond takes over from Miles Watkins as IQ UK President in October. He summarizes what he sees as an exciting time ahead for IQ, both locally and internationally: ‘As a membership organization we are keen to reinforce our position as the lead professional body representing standards in quarrying around the world. We have a fantastic team supported by the world’s biggest names in mineral extractives. Our vision is clear. We will support professionals, raising standards and cementing the future of our industry at all levels in territories around the world.’


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