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The AusIMM held up a ‘Future Directions’ mirror…

...and now the Mining Society would like to do the same!

by Kate Hobbs MAusIMM, Mining Society Committee Member

AusIMM, its communities of interest, members and the industry as a whole, much like most other organisations and industries, face an environment that demands we think differently.

In this article, I would like to share (on behalf of the AusIMM Mining Society – MinSoc) some of our perspectives about the world and our sector, and the important and ongoing role we see the AusIMM Mining Society playing.

Setting the scene

  • The developing environment (some would argue the one that we already live in) is very different to the one that existed just ten years ago in terms of workforce skills, behaviours, wants and needs. It is experiencing an ever-increasing rate of change that will seriously challenge those without a modern, innovative and agile mindset.
  • The need for different thinking and change has resulted in a dire need for diversity within the workforce. This is now one of the most talked about topics of conversation across our industry as well as many others. Five years ago, organisations were considering the need to bring about change in the diversity and inclusion space as something they needed to do to be a good corporate citizen because it was the right thing to do in the eyes of the community. Now they are in a position where they must bring about change, and quickly, in order to survive. Without diversity of thought, the innovation needed to keep up is near on impossible.
  • Those who have been entering the professional world for the last decade have been shown to often think and behave differently than their predecessors and can be at odds with the processes and systems in place, not to mention the existing workforce in terms of expectations. This different level of expectation is also reflected in society as a whole, particularly in the West, with platforms like social media playing a key role in enabling individuals and groups to influence from outside an organisation or industry when they feel things need to change.

The above is only scratching the surface; however, these and other factors continue to provide a clear picture for why AusIMM needed to look at its role and ways of engaging with members and the broader industry differently.

With this in mind, have you been aware of the changes that have been occurring in the AusIMM over the last year or so?

  • Noticed the new logo and branding, and relaunched Bulletin?
  • Explored the new website?
  • Seen the 125 anniversary video Reflections?
  • Heard the AusIMM’s Council for Diversity and Inclusion mentioned, perhaps by a speaker or in an email somewhere?
  • Noticed a change in the way we offer membership and corporate partnerships?
  • Undertaken or registered for our new online JORC training?

All the above (and plenty more) were outcomes of a strategic decision by the AusIMM Board and Management Team to change the way we do things. This came after the recognition that, although we had achieved a huge amount in our 125 years and have had a successful formula to date, AusIMM needed a refresh to take advantage of the macro-economic changes occurring … much like the rest of the mining industry. AusIMM’s Future Directions Strategy was launched toward the end of 2017.

The Future Directions Strategy set out our plan to re-establish the AusIMM to be a more contemporary, financially sustainable organisation with a stronger external profile and brand

Stephen Durkin, CEO, AusIMM

As we move into 2019 the strategy is underpinned by four key initiatives:

Digital Transformation – Deliver the next stage of our digital transformation project, creating better online platforms and services for everybody who engages with AusIMM.

Codes and Standards – Leverage our success on our online JORC training course and roll out our educational platform across other key markets, including internationally.

Stakeholder engagement – Build stronger relationships with government, media, universities, industry and kindred bodies – in order to be a more inclusive, relevant and contemporary organisation.

Trusted Voice – Deploy the collective experience and wisdom of our members to position ourselves as the voice of credibility and influence. Tell our story through traditional media outlets as well as social media.

Much to my surprise, I now recognise after having discussions with a variety of individuals recently that a significant number of people haven’t yet noticed many of the changes happening, nor have they reflected on what it means for them or activities they engage in as part of their membership. So, what does this new strategic direction mean for Communities of Interest (COI) such as MinSoc?

MinSoc has traditionally been the home of mining engineering, geotechnical engineering and survey professionals working in the sector. Initiatives such as developing technical publications including the Mine Managers Handbook, running the Distinguished Lecture series, occasionally compiling technical articles and webinars, and contributing to AusIMM policy discussions on topics such as mining education have been the mainstay of MinSoc’s activities.

MinSoc is a well-respected and valued part of the AusIMM and has been for many years; however, like the broader Institute and industry, must recognise that the needs of our members are changing. This means that we, like all other COIs, need to hold up a mirror to who we are, what we do, and how we support our members, AusIMM and the broader industry to enable us to continue to achieve our vision of supporting professional excellence in the field of mining.

So, what does the future hold for MinSoc? That is a very good question and one that we don’t have an answer to yet! However, we certainly think it’s time we get one.

To enable MinSoc’s committee to develop a roadmap to feed into and support the next stage of the AusIMM’s Future Directions Strategy, we would like to get your input. Now is your chance to tell us what you need or expect from us and what you would like to see us focusing our efforts on. To facilitate this, we have developed a short survey that we would appreciate you taking ten minutes to complete. All responses are welcome too, even if you’re not a member of the AusIMM or MinSoc.

Yes, we know… not another survey!… however, without your feedback we can only draw on our own thoughts and experiences. We look forward to hearing from you all, no matter how out of the box you think your ideas are!

Please complete the short survey here or below.

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