Rio Tinto’s Weipa bauxite mine was among the big winners at the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Indigenous Awards, held in Brisbane last night in conjunction with National Reconciliation Week.
The operation won the Best Company Indigenous Employment and Training Initiative while its superintendent for indigenous employment and development, Lee Darvell, was highly commended in the category for Exceptional Indigenous Person.
“Indigenous Australians now represent a record 27 per cent of our workforce, and local Aboriginal employment has increased from 12 per cent to 16 per cent,” Rio Tinto Weipa Operations general manager Dan van der Westhuizen said.
“This helps ensure that local Aboriginal people continue to play a strong role in our business and to position the broader Western Cape region for a sustainable future.”
Rio Tinto was also highly commended in the Best Company Indigenous Procurement Award for its work setting objectives to maximise Indigenous business and employment opportunities as well as expectations for contractors at the Amrun bauxite project.
The QRC Indigenous Awards promote and celebrate leading practice Indigenous participation achievements in the resources sector while advocating the industry as a career option for Indigenous people.
BHP Billiton’s Theresa Saylor took out the Exceptional Indigenous Person award in her role as an Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC) controller, while Jetzak Media won the Exceptional Indigenous Business award.
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal took the award for Best Company Indigenous Procurement Initiative.
The Indigenous Advocacy Award was shared between Incitec Pivot’s Davina Shearer and Glencore’s William Blackley.
Wonie Yusia from Wavell State High School and Kaitlyn Tobane from Blackwater State High School both triumphed in a new category to be joint winners in the Exceptional Indigenous Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) award.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the awards provided the opportunity to showcase exceptional performance by indigenous and non-indigenous individuals, businesses and the support of their companies.
“It is our hope that the award winners will go on to be ambassadors for the sector, acting as role models and encouraging more indigenous people to join our industry,” said Mr Macfarlane.
“The awards are designed to celebrate the achievements of those companies and individuals making a real difference and to inspire others to do the same. As a sector that largely operates in regional and remote communities with indigenous populations, bridging the divide with tangible opportunities is of great priority.”
More than 300 people attended the awards ceremony at the Sofitel Hotel Brisbane.
Winners at a glance:
BEST COMPANY INDIGENOUS PROCUREMENT INITIATIVE
Woorabinda Aboriginal Shire Council, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance and BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal
BEST COMPANY INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING INITIATIVE
Rio Tinto Weipa
EXCEPTIONAL INDIGENOUS BUSINESS
EXCEPTIONAL INDIGENOUS PERSON
Theresa Saylor, BHP Billiton
INDIGENOUS ADVOCACY AWARD JOINT WINNERS
Davina Shearer, Incitec Pivot
William Blackley, Glencore
EXCEPTIONAL INDIGENOUS QMEA STUDENT AWARD JOINT WINNERS
Wonie Yusia Wavell SHS
Kaitlyn Tobane, Blackwater SHS
More awards night photos at: