Packaging a milestone: AIP celebrates 50 years

For half a century, the Australian Institute of Packaging has been serving the education and training arm of the Australian packaging industry, writes Ralph Moyle.

The starting date was 12 September, 1963. Fourteen industry experts had a vision to create a packaging institute that would provide a professional identity for packaging technologists in Australia.

To put this date into perspective, do you remember what you were doing in 1963? Petrol was $0.29 per gallon (yes, gallon) or today that is $0.06 per litre. A new band called The Beatles released their first album. Diet Coke hit our shelves, Channel 9 was founded and Robert Menzies was re-elected Prime Minister.

The Australian Institute of Packaging, this year celebrating a remarkable achievement of longevity, was put into motion by the foundation president, Noel McLennan, together with Arthur Harris, Frederich M. Flentje, Edward R. Dann, William A. Ross, Marcus Heselev, Leslie Buck, Ray Cox, A. Hislop, J. Trotter, G. Jeudwine, W. Smith, F.H Ottaway and E.G Davis. These individuals are recognised as the official foundation members of the AIP, and without their vision, the Institute would not be as relevant today.

Ever since that memorable day in September 1963, the AIP has moved forward to provide a professional identity for individuals within the industry. For 50 years, the primary function of the Institute, which is not-for-profit and based on individual- not company-membership, has been to enable professional development of its members and to disseminate technical knowledge of packaging throughout the industry via education and technical training as well as providing cross-functioning networking opportunities.

Don Ferguson FAIP – national president of the AIP between 1985 and 1986.

AIP members come from a wide range of industry segments; some are energetic and youthful, others are more mature and knowledgeable. Regardless of who they are and where they’ve come from, one of the AIP’s core reasons for success over its half century is the continual exchange of knowledge and sharing of experiences. Packaging is a diverse field and no person knows it all.

Education is at our core. We continually speak to our members and the industry about what is relevant at that time. Our members tell us what topics our monthly seminars should cover; as well as the topics required for training industry staff at our half-day training courses. Students who undertake our tertiary studies at internationally accredited Diploma and Certificate courses (available for the past 32 years) gain support from a network of fellow members.

From the beginnings in Melbourne 50 years ago, the AIP is now a respected part of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and conducts training courses across Australia and New Zealand and more recently in Asia and Africa.

Our objective is simple – knowledge is growth.

The AIP Mission Statement is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago and it will be the basis of our continual growth moving forward.

  • To serve as an independent professional body of packaging specialists
  • To promote professional standards of competency through education and training
  • To advance and promote the standing of packaging specialists as a profession
  • To serve and establish the confidence of the community in the packaging profession
  • To aim towards professional qualifications for all members
  • To uphold professional integrity and ethics within the profession of packaging

If your company or staff is looking for education and training within the packaging industry, the AIP can help you. We’re here for the individuals who make up this industry, fostering their growth and development in this dynamic industry. We look forward to working with you in the future and to representing our beloved industry for another 50 years.

Ralph Moyle is national president of the AIP.


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