February 2015

Opportunities for mineral professionals and the AusIMM

  • By Rex Berthelsen FAusIMM (CP), President, AusIMM

am honoured to be AusIMM President for 2015, and it is a pleasure to welcome you to this first editorial of a refreshed AusIMM Bulletin. I would like to reflect briefly on the purpose of the AusIMM and share my thoughts on the opportunities and challenges for our Institute and for minerals professionals.

The AusIMM was formed in 1893 to support best practice in minerals professionalism. That core focus of the Institute to support members to be the best minerals professional they can possibly be is unchanged today.

When the AusIMM Board was reviewing the AusIMM Strategic Plan last year, I put forward the challenge to create a short statement that explains why the AusIMM exists – what the Institute’s core purpose is. In response, we developed and adopted the ‘headline’ statement that the AusIMM builds careers and communities.

We build careers and we build communities. Some members might find that focus surprising when you first hear it. The focus of the Institute on building members’ careers is obvious – the AusIMM exists to help minerals professionals be the best they can be. The obligation of minerals professionals to focus on communities is reflected clearly in clause 1 of the AusIMM Code of Ethics: ‘The safety, health and welfare of the community shall be the prime responsibility of members of the AusIMM in the conduct of their professional activities’.

I believe that the two concepts are deeply entwined. By being the best professional each of us can be we both build our own career and our communities.

My goal as President is to help the AusIMM continue its pursuit of best practice professionalism for the diverse minerals sector community

Minerals professionals really are the heart of the minerals sector. We bring technical knowledge, expertise and experience to our work as innovators, decision-makers, managers and thought leaders. We work out how to get more out of our current discoveries, as well as work out how to explore and find the mines of the future. We support informed investors to finance viable exploration and mining projects. We ensure effective mine closure and rehabilitation. We work to make sure that minerals industry activities have positive impact on communities through creating opportunities for local economies and the nation as a whole. We make available the minerals that are essential to our high-tech modern societies.

I am a geologist with more than 20 years AusIMM membership and industry experience in Australia and internationally. In my work as a resource geologist and as a self-confessed ‘numbers man’ who is currently working towards completing a Master of Geostatistics degree, I know that applying my technical skills is fundamental. However, I am firmly of the view that technical skills in isolation are not enough. It is the way we work, living our values and interacting across disciplines and in our communities, which is so critically important and will determine our future success as minerals professionals.

My goal as President is to help the AusIMM continue its pursuit of best practice professionalism for the diverse minerals sector community.
Unlike most professional institutes, the AusIMM embraces members from a wide range of academic disciplines. We have members who live and work all around the world.

My vision for the Institute includes:

  • Breaking down the barriers between professionals of different backgrounds – we are at our best when we collaborate and draw in the skills and perspectives of other disciplines.
  • Increasing the recognition that AusIMM members receive – I would like to see a day where AusIMM members are the employees of choice for minerals companies around the world.
  • Increasing member participation in the AusIMM – my experience has been that the more I put in, the more I get back from the Institute and its wonderful network of members.

I look forward to meeting and working with many of you as I embark on my journey as AusIMM President. My challenge to you is to set your professional development goals for 2015 and to think and act on the ways that you can get involved in this great organisation that is our Institute.

Rex Berthelsen FAusIMM (CP), President, AusIMM

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