The AusIMM is undergoing major transformation as the peak body for mining industry professionals marks its 125th anniversary.
It has a number of strategies up its sleeve to ensure enduring relevance in an era where young people are less likely to aspire to join formal associations and the mining industry is widely misunderstood by the general public, according to chief executive officer Stephen Durkin.
He says the group is trying to focus on not just representing its 13,000 members – including 2400 in Queensland – but the 65,000 professionals who work in the resources sector in Australia.
“We want to take the business model and take it to new places,” Mr Durkin said.
“There is an incredible story to tell about the mining industry and the professionals who work there.”
“The industry hasn’t quite got its act together in terms of telling that story. I feel that’s a big part of the reason there is a disconnect between what the professionals, the people who work in the industry, know is happening and feel is very important and the often-negative or ill-informed view the community might have of what is taking place.”
Mr Durkin said also that club-like groups and associations generally were facing the challenge of an undeniable trend in that younger people were increasingly disinterested in belonging to long-term institutions.
AusIMM was less focused on simple membership numbers and more focused on delivering a range of products and services into the marketplace, he said.
Mr Durkin said the organisation had immense influence beyond its membership, including through the major events and conferences is hosted across Australia and New Zealand.
The transformation AusIMM was undertaking was aimed at creating a more contemporary organisation, a financially sustainable organisation and at building a stronger brand, he said.
“We are looking to really tell the narrative of our brand and the professionals who work in the sector through deploying social media and looking at ramping up that strategy,” he said.
“That’s a really smart way for us to present the story of our membership, a really important part of lifting our profile and demonstrating our relevance in the market at large.”
The 125-year anniversary events would include a focus on the people and their stories, he said.
The official launch of the AusIMM 125th anniversary activities will occur in Adelaide at AusIMM Congress 2018 from April 20 – marking the anniversary of the first general meeting of the AusIMM in Gawler, South Australian in 1893.
This will include the launch of the AusIMM 125 Anniversary Thought Leadership Series, a roadshow event across Australia and New Zealand including forums in Brisbane on May 9 and Mackay on May 10.
“We’re putting together an A-list of panellists in all of those locations so that we can lead a conversation around the future of the industry, the role of professionals in the future of the industry and the importance of technology and innovation underpinning where we see this industry heading over the next few decades,” Mr Durkin said.
The group will also launch its 125 Faces campaign in April, designed to showcase the talented, influential and inspiring people who shape the AusIMM.