A tall glass of wisdom
The Dairy Industry Association of Australia (DIAA) is the only post farm gate dairy association in Australia, says Doug Eddy, Federal President of the DIAA. “The DIAA provides knowledge and networking services to members of various companies in the dairy industry,” he says. While the association will be celebrating its 25th birthday this year, their history can be traced back to the 1890’s when its predecessor was initially founded.
“The DIAA came into existence in 1986 and that was the result of the amalgamation of the Australian Dairy Institute – the production arm of the industry – and the Australian Association of Dairy Technology – the technical and research side of the industry,” says Eddy, now with approximately 1300 members. Among other things, the DIAA provides a forum for communication, continuing education, and professional growth.
Benefits of membership
There are many benefits to membership, notably a subscription to an award-winning trade magazine, Australian Dairy Foods. The bi-monthly magazine is an effective way for the DIAA to communicate with their members and to make sure they have the latest industry news and information at their fingertips. “Over the past 30 years, Australian Dairy Foods has become a focal point for the dairy industry,” says Eddy. “It keeps our members informed about what is going on here and around the world.”
Another member benefit is a comprehensive industry directory, Australian Dairy Listing. The directory is available in print and online and is a sought-after reference tool that lists dairy product manufacturers around Australia, in addition to service providers and industry bodies. The directory is printed every two years in hard copy, but is kept up-to-date on the DIAA website. Like the magazine, the print and electronic versions of the directory provide an income for the DIAA through display and banner advertisement. Just like in the Yellow Pages, companies can pay to increase their entry to provide more of a punch, though a basic entry is free for all companies involved in the industry in Australia.
For 65 years, the DIAA published a technical journal that was very well regarded in the industry. It began publication in 1946 with the support of the Australian Association of Dairy Technology, one of the DIAA’s predecessors. Last year the journal ceased publication, but the DIAA has found a way to preserve the decades of industry knowledge it contained. “In February last year, the DIAA completed an extensive archiving project that has made more than 1,700 research articles published in the journal available online,” Eddy says. “The journal contains decades of dairy history. It documents 65 years of technological developments, solutions to long-standing problems and industry developments, and now it’s all available to members free of charge,” he says.
Networking and education
Every year, the DIAA hosts numerous conferences and events around the country. One of the most high-profile events is directly linked to the technical journal and may represent a continuation of its original intention, namely to spread industry information and innovation. The Dairy Science World Series conferences bring together national and international innovators, informing and enlightening the DIAA’s membership.
“DIAA’s state and national conferences and events offer members an opportunity to come together and learn, network, and get recognition where it is due,” says Eddy. This includes medals for service to industry and the association, as well as highly prized medals for technical dairy product competitions judged by industry specialists.
Going forward, the DIAA will continue to promote innovation and education in the dairy industry. As the DIAA celebrates its 25th birthday, Eddy says the association stands ready to help the Australian dairy industry remain innovative and competitive into the future.