Jan 23, 2019

QRC champions indigenous workers

QRC champions indigenous workers Performers at last year's Queensland Resources Council's Indigenous Awards.

The Queensland Resources Council is calling for nominations for its annual Indigenous Awards to celebrate excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation in the state’s resources sector. 

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources sector was providing more jobs and opportunities for indigenous Australians, but acknowledged the sector needed to be better at telling those stories. 

“Many people wouldn’t be aware but Queensland’s resources sector is one of two sectors, the other being the public sector, that has a genuine representation of indigenous employees,” Mr Macfarlane said.

Indigenous people comprise 4 per cent of the state’s workforce in resources and … last year indigenous employment grew by 11 per cent in our sector.

“Another milestone is indigenous women in resources, who represent 26 per cent of the indigenous workforce, which is close to twice the non-indigenous rate.”

The sixth annual awards on May 27, to be presented during National Reconciliation Week, will feature award-winning journalist and Wiradjuri man Stan Grant as the keynote speaker.

“Stan is a respected news and political journalist and understands the importance of showcasing indigenous role models and ambassadors,” Mr Macfarlane said. 

The Closing the Gap 2018 update reported 6599 indigenous Australians were employed by the mining industry, an increase of 250 per cent since 2006.

The number of non-indigenous Australians employed in mining had increased by 150 per cent over the same period.

“The same report stated the mining industry itself is employing significantly more indigenous Australians than previously and we need to champion these employees,” Mr Macfarlane said. 

This year, the QRC will be working with National Indigenous Television to identify and develop indigenous stories in the resources sector.

Nominations for the Indigenous Awards close on April 5. 

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