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Indigenous trainees graduate from Thiess mining program

Indigenous employment has received a healthy boost following news that 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have graduated from mining traineeships in Queensland.

The candidates completed the Sisters in Mining Program, which involved a three-week pre-employment training scheme and an 18-month traineeship. The pre-employment placement gave the women experience working as haul truck operators.

According to the state government, the progress the women have made thus far has contributed towards a Certificate III in Surface Extraction Mine Operations.

Curtis Pitt, Queensland’s Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, said the traineeships marked the culmination of multiple organisations working together.

The Sisters in Mining Program involved input from the state and federal governments, as well as mining services provider Thiess and the Juwarki/Bungoo Aboriginal Corporation.

“By each partner focusing on the area of expertise they bring to the table, it demonstrates a commitment to a way of working that, as we’re seeing today, is paying dividends for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders, and women in particular,” Mr Pitt stated.

“This program aims to deliver real and sustainable long-term employment opportunities and careers for Indigenous women in Queensland’s mining sector.”

Mining traineeships in Queensland

The Treasurer said the Sisters in Mining program provides more than just employment advice; traineeships also offer life skills including money management, negotiation, goal setting and nutrition. He said the 12 women will also now have the chance to gain permanent employment at one of Thiess’ Queensland facilities.

Mr Pitt stated the graduates’ success should encourage future generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to pursue their dream careers and improve Indigenous employment in the state.

The Sisters in Mining Program won the prestigious Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance Award at the 10th annual Resources Awards for Women last year.

Penny Hamilton, Thiess Diversity Adviser, stated the initiative was key to improving job opportunities for Indigenous women, adding that the company was keen to expand the program’s reach over the coming years.

“This is one of the only programs in the mining industry dedicated to providing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with a clear path to a career in mining, and I am so proud of the difference we are making to these women’s lives,” she explained.

The 2016 Resources Awards for Women will take place on March 8, 2016 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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