Hail Creek helps foster indigenous skills

RIO Tinto Coal Australia’s Hail Creek mine in Queensland is helping build the skills capacity of members of the Wiri Yuwiburra traditional owners with an ongoing business administration traineeship program offered by the site.
Hail Creek helps foster indigenous skills Hail Creek helps foster indigenous skills Hail Creek helps foster indigenous skills Hail Creek helps foster indigenous skills Hail Creek helps foster indigenous skills

Jannaya Santo

Lou Caruana

Seven indigenous people have successfully completed their traineeships in RTCA’s Mackay office with support from training provider MRAEL and five have completed their traineeships in external host organisations.

Wiri Yuwiburra members Jannaya Santo and Lana Johnson began their traineeships with RTCA’s Mackay office and Townsville City Council respectively earlier this year.

Established in 2006, the Wiri traineeship program and the Wiri Yuwiburra Aboriginal Community Benefits Trust were established as part of a goodwill agreement between Hail Creek mine and the traditional owners.

RTCA was working hard to increase diversity in the workplace and had a reconciliation action plan target of 5% indigenous employment across all its operations, Hail Creek operations general manager Rowan Munro said.

“Workplace diversity is a core value of Rio Tinto’s and we implement strategies such as working with the local indigenous community and promoting indigenous career opportunities at careers fairs and community events,” he said.

“In addition to this, we offer a range of training and employment opportunities for indigenous people through our vacation work program and graduate program.”

Santo said she hoped to continue to work within business administration in the future.

“I have always wanted to work in business administration and was very excited to find out I had been accepted for the traineeship,” she said.

“My experience so far has been really positive and the people I work with are great.

“I take care of the inductions for Hail Creek mine, organise and manage mailing and post and do my training at MRAEL which involves completing 12 modules throughout the year.”

Johnson said the highlight of the traineeship program was having the opportunity to work in the learning and development team of Townsville City Council and delivering a presentation about NAIDOC Week.

“Presenting on NAIDOC Week allowed me to share my culture and background with the people I work with, which was a great experience,” she said.

“I am also learning a lot about how to model a good work ethic, participate in a team environment and how to balance work, life and study.

“The traineeship provides me with experience and a qualification that will help me continue my career in business administration in the future.

“I’m aiming to go to university one day to further my studies in business as well as sport.”

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