Mark Cain

A message from the Chief Executive – October 2023

Aust Steel Convention Regent Ball Room 2023

Australian Steel Convention a great success

Two hundred and forty delegates enjoyed the ASI’s 2023 Australian Steel Convention in Melbourne. Our theme this year was Choose Steel. This was particularly relevant in times of uncertain global economic conditions and skills shortages, which the ASI is addressing through its strong focus on careers and training.

Sponsored by Combilift, the welcome reception was held at Old Melbourne Goal, with drinks and canapes served in the gaol where Australian bushranger Ned Kelly lived his final days. Sponsored by BlueScope, the convention dinner was held at the Plaza Ballroom. With the ballroom’s unique Spanish Rococo architecture and original chandeliers, it was a memorable evening of delicious food.

Day one opened with an address by Federal Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic, followed by talks on economic challenges facing the industry, a panel discussion on the ASI’s Choose Steel campaign to boost the use of steel in home renovations, and customer perspectives in construction. Keynote speakers included Justin Jones, an adventurer and documentary maker who delved into ‘adventure thinking’ and lessons learnt from the edge.

Project case studies were also back by demand, showcasing the innovative solutions across a myriad of project applications and steel product groups, including Allianz Stadium, the 308 Exhibition Street Skybridge, and a look at innovative cold formed steel structures.

Highlights from day two included an address by Federal Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor followed by talks on leadership and people strategies and a panel exploring new pathways for young people in steel. We wrapped the convention with forums for roll formers, fabricators and the ACMA AGM and forum.

ASI fabricators enjoy FABTECH 2023 in Chicago

The ASI-organised fabricators trip to the FABTECH expo and conference in Chicago was a great success. Focused on the metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing disciplines, FABTECH featured 1,500 exhibitors and crowds of up to 50,000 people.

The Australian group were guests at a dinner hosted by the American Institute of Steel Construction. Issues such as labour shortages, training and industry promotion were discussed. Impact Machinery and Peddinghaus hosted a bus tour of several fabricators, along with a visit to Lambeau Field—the home of the Green Bay packers NFL team.

The ASI would like to thank Anton Peddinghaus, Eric Newberry and Paul Mazza from Peddinghaus for arranging and guiding the visits; Rob Clark, Darren Harmsworth and Peter Mazza from Impact Machinery for chaperoning the group; and Todd Alwood of the AISC for arranging dinner.

Steel Sustainability Awards

Entries are closing soon for the new Steel Sustainability Awards. Presented by the ASI, the awards provide an outstanding opportunity to showcase the achievements of the end-to-end supply chain including architects, designers, engineers, steel manufacturers, distributors, fabricators, processors, builders and constructors in delivering steel-related solutions that result in positive sustainable impact across two broad focus areas;

  • Use of steel in building and construction projects
  • Company steel-related initiatives

The awards will be presented online in early 2024. ASI would like to thank to our sponsors, including: Major Sponsor BlueScope; Sponsor Liberty; Category Sponsor AA Steel Works; and Distributor Sponsors, BlueScope Distribution, Calibre Steel, GAM Steel Service, InfraBuild, Orrcon Steel, Southern Steel, United Steel and Vulcan.

Mark Cain
Chief executive of the Australian Steel Institute

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