The History of the
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.

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 various activities.  

The Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation (AIQEF) was successfully governed by the AIQEF Council. The Council invested the proceeds from the Annual AIQEF Auctions and interest earned on funds invested to support the charity and the funds available to support education for the industry.

Since 1982 the AIQEF has made grants totally approx. $3.5million to support training, education and career development for the extractive industry and its most precious resource - its people. On the 3 October 2019 the IQA membership voted in favour of dissolving the AIQEF as a standalone entity and creating the AIQEF Committee as part of the IQA. The AIQEF Committee charter is operationalised by a change to the IQA Constitution. The AIQEF Committee Charter preserves the independence of the foundation and strengthens its future operating capacity by extending the benefits of the IQA’s governance and insurance structures to the AIQEF.

Operating as the AIQEF Committee through the IQA eliminates cost duplication and secures the foundation within a sound legal framework. The AIQEF Committee Charter is now integrated with the IQA Constitution and the AIQEF Committee is working proactively with the IQA Board for the long-term benefit of continuous improvement in industry education.


The AIQEF Committee

The AIQEF Committee shall comprise the IQA’s current President, Deputy President and up to five of the IQA’s Immediate Past Presidents that are willing to serve.  The AIQEF Committee may, from time to time, appoint suitably qualified persons to be members of the Committee, subject to the Committee consisting of not less than four, nor more than eight, members of the IQA.

2020 AIQEF Committee

Dugald Gray
John Mitas
Grant Farquhar
Shane Braddy
Clayton Hill
  COMMITTEE CHAIR  David Cilento         


Supporting Education for the Industry

Initially the AIQEF’s focus was on supporting the development of off-campus training. As training evolved to be aligned to the nationally accredited competency based framework, the focus shifted to supporting the development and delivery of industry training to support improvements in health and safety, environment and generally to provide the knowledge and skills required for competent operators, supervisors and managers in the quarrying and related industries. 

The AIQEF has a proud history in supporting successful projects:

  • The Off-campus Course in Extractive Industries – between 1982 and 1987 the AIQEF contributed $78,000 towards the development of the resources necessary to commence the Certificate of Technology (Quarrying).  The AIQEF contributed a further $75,000 between 1990 and 1994 towards the rewriting of the course materials for re-accreditation.

  • Assisted Private Scholarships –designed to provide mentor support and for students studying off-campus.  Students were guided through the course at a cost of $78,000 between 1995 and 2000.

  • Training Materials and Program Development and Management –Since 2003 the AIQEF has contributed over $2 million for the development, updating and delivery of technical training materials and programs for the extractive industries. 

  • Awards – from 1987 until 2005, the AIQEF 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 integration of the AIQEF into the IQA  will only strengthen the AIQEF Committee’s ability to fund, support and directly influence training and educational outcomes for the extractive industry through the foundation’s support for:

  • Annual Alec Northover Award.
  • Grants for:
    • Training resources – (training reference material, self-paced learning material, videos, assessment tools etc)
    • Training programs – (pilot course to trial training & training workshops in a remote location)
    • Engagement of speakers – (industry dinners, technical meetings)
    • Seminars – (educational presenter fees, equipment hire etc)
  • Educational Scholarships.
  • Annual auction exposure to assist with fund raising.