The first meeting of the Goldfields Aboriginal Industry Network has been held in Kalgoorlie to help improve job opportunities and develop long term career paths in the mining industry for local First Nations people.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has been instrumental in establishing the Aboriginal-led network, comprised of many of the leading mining employers in the Goldfields region.
DPIRD project officer Jade Malanczak said the new network aimed to generate cultural and organisational change by working collaboratively to create supported employment pathways for Aboriginal people.
“Individual mining companies have been working on many fronts for some time to increase employment and improve retention of Aboriginal people in the mining industry,” she said.
“The Goldfields Aboriginal Industry Network will bring mining companies together to share learnings and experiences and discuss how the industry can work more closely together to improve employment outcomes for local people.”
The network will meet quarterly, with each meeting to address a specific focus, including recruitment, retention, leadership, apprenticeships and traineeships, and removing barriers to employment.
“This first meeting was to delve deep into the challenges of recruitment, looking at the best processes, what is currently being done, removing barriers and what else can be done to attract Aboriginal people to jobs and a career in the mining industry.”
Ms Malanczak said she was delighted by the interest and support of the Goldfields mining industry in the network.
“The network has evolved out of ongoing discussions between mining companies and there is a great willingness for the network to be a real catalyst for change,” she said.
Ms Malanczak said the Goldfields Aboriginal Industry Network would be a win-win for local Aboriginal people and the mining industry.
“Employment is a fundamental component of strong communities, strong industry and a strong economy,” she said.
“The network will help to build a framework for initiatives that create employment pathways for Aboriginal people in the mining industry, while providing a supported workforce.
“We anticipate these measures will build over time to create further opportunities and flow on benefits for local communities, helping the Goldfields region to grow and prosper.”
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
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