Dear industry colleagues, On behalf of the Conference Committee, I am delighted to invite you to attend the 32nd Annual Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference at The Star Gold Coast from Sunday 22nd to Wednesday 25th August 2021.
The theme of the 2021 Conference is Together we Collaborate, Innovate and Educate. All three of these are vital if we are to share and learn from past experiences to ensure that every worker in our industry goes home safe at the end of every shift.
Effective collaboration enables us to share information, so we learn from the challenges we face and mistakes we’ve made. Our ongoing innovation can ensure we do things in ways that further protect our people and reduce risks and hazards at our operations. And we should never stop learning and sharing that knowledge with our workmates and our peers. I’ve been in the industry for 37 years and literally not a day goes by when I don’t learn something new or share some of my experience with colleagues.
This year’s Conference has attracted a wide range of presenters willing to share their knowledge, expertise and insights into important health and safety matters in our industry. I invite you to engage and challenge them – and each other – in keeping with the theme of the conference.
The Conference begins with lunch on Sunday, followed by the Official Opening and Keynote Presentations, with the Welcome Function among the Trade Displays to end the day.
Monday will be a full day of sessions, including the presentation of the Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference Legends Award for 2021 and the Innovation Award Presentations. The evening features an Informal Dinner and appeal auction in aid of Heart of Australia.
Tuesday will be a full day of sessions, with the start of the Concurrent Session presentations after the Morning Break. A ‘Happy Hour’ among the Trade Displays will follow a Student Forum and precede a WIMARQ function, with the evening left free for people to make their own dining arrangements.
Wednesday features another full day of sessions before the popular Facilitated Session which this year comprises a Fatigue Workshop. The Conference will conclude with the Conference Dinner and Award presentations that evening.
I would be remiss not to mention the defining event of last year – COVID-19.
As you will be aware, last year’s conference was cancelled – for the first time in its history – as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. The pandemic caught everyone by surprise. But as a sector, we immediately understood our obligations. It was important we kept operating – maintaining jobs, spend on local and regional businesses, payment of taxes and royalties to governments and continuing to support community initiatives – at a time when our economy needed mining revenues more than ever.
But it was even more important that we protected our people and the local communities in which we operate.
Our sector has done an amazing job. We worked together – with our peer companies, with expert medical advisors, with the Queensland Resources Council, with Local Councils, with State and Federal Governments, with our suppliers, with local communities – to implement a wide range of measures and protocols to reduce the chance of COVID transmission on our mine sites and in our supply chains. At times last year, we were receiving and acting on new information about the virus on an almost daily basis. Our ongoing licence to operate depended on us getting things right. Every day, at every operation, we continue to follow these measures and protocols.
It is this kind of focus, innovation and education that we seek to apply to every day, to every task, at every operation.
The fact that we are able to stage this year’s conference further demonstrates the resilience of our sector.
As ever, our Conference Committee Members will continue their tradition of manning the Registration Desk, and each of them encourage you to engage and ask questions.
On behalf of the Committee, I am very much looking forward to welcoming you at Australia’s premier Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference at The Star Gold Coast this August.