A new prize program is helping young mining industry professionals in north-west Queensland tap into more development opportunities.
The AusIMM local branch is introducing a $2000 Young Professional’s Scholarship this year in addition to the $1000 Best Presenter Award granted to the most impressive local speaker at the annual regional mining conference in Cloncurry.
“The purpose of this scholarship is to reward high-achieving, young mining industry professionals with a passion for professional development, aspirations for excellence and ambitions to become future industry leaders,” AusIMM North West Queensland Branch chair Lucas Ljubicic said.
“Eligible candidates will live or work full time in the north-west region, have up to five years’ experience and have been accepted to present at a future conference or presented in the last 12 months.”
The best speaker award, introduced in 2017, is intended to give the winners financial assistance to attend national events to further their professional development.
Mr Ljubicic, a mining engineer at Mount Isa’s copper operations, said local branch numbers were just under 100 at the start of 2017 and he expected a jump in 2018 as more graduates came into local operations.
The local group hosted a successful trivia night in February to kick off the year’s events.
“It’s our major social function where we try to bring all the new graduates into the fold along with the vaccies (vacation program students) up for the summer period,” he said.
“We had one of our most successful trivia nights ever, with about 130 people attending at the Island Bowls Club.”
In additional to semi-regular professional development and technical sessions, the branch hosts an annual regional mining conference in Cloncurry – with this year’s event set for August 24.
Mr Ljubicic believes the professional development and networking opportunities AusIMM offers are very helpful for resource industry workers in the north-west region.
“I think it’s very important at a professional level,” he said.
“We don’t have much contact with people outside of our own business units, so it really keeps those lines of communication open between the different disciplines and operations in the region.
“There is a lot of knowledge sharing and growth out of that.”
And while the local professionals may be isolated in some ways, their north-west Queensland postings place them in the middle of a top-class pool of expertise.
“Mount Isa has always been a proving ground for new technology and ideas,” Mr Ljubicic said.
“There is a lot of history here as well and we have some historians who like to present on some of the early years in Mount Isa.”
The local group also plans to undertake a heritage project in Mount Isa this year and has already had preliminary talks with the local council about the initiative.
In a previous project, AusIMM North West Queensland Branch members donated time to research the history of some mining exhibits at the Outback at Isa tourism centre and produce signage for those items (main picture).