BHP coal shines in indigenous awards

TWO indigenous women from BHP’s coal operations in Queensland are among the winners at the Queensland Resources Council’s Indigenous Awards.
BHP coal shines in indigenous awards  BHP coal shines in indigenous awards  BHP coal shines in indigenous awards  BHP coal shines in indigenous awards  BHP coal shines in indigenous awards

The QRC Indigenous Awards winners, from left to right: Dee Clarke, Anthony Galante, Josh Cox, Nyah Teiotu, Libby Ferrari, Stan Grant, Barbara Sheehy, and James Palmer.

The QRC Indigenous Advocacy Award, which recognises individuals demonstrating an outstanding effort to encourage, promote and advocate for increasing Indigenous participation within the resources sector, was awarded to Dee Clarke from BHP's Maintenance Centre of Excellence.


Clarke said she hoped to inspire even greater Indigenous participation in the coal mining industry.


Wemba Wemba woman Nyah Teiotu was named this year's QRC Exceptional Indigenous Person in Queensland resources, in recognition of her trailblazing work as one of the first Indigenous female engineers to enter BHP.


A mining engineer with BHP, Teiotu holds two degrees in civil and mining engineering and plans to complete an MBA.


On top of her contribution to the workplace, she is involved in a number of BHP's inclusion and diversity committees, STEM pathway programs and volunteers at various Indigenous student events and summer camps at University of Queensland.


"It is great that these awards recognise the many career opportunities for young people in the mining industry and I hope I can use my award to attract even more young people, especially women, to pursue them," Teiotu said.


Engineering firm Black Cat Civil was named Exceptional Indigenous Business in the Queensland Resources Award, which recognises exceptional achievement by an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander business supplying the Queensland resources sector.


Black Cat Civil is an Indigenous-owned company founded by Jai Tomlinson and Brendan Flynn, working throughout Australia in the civil, rail, mining and construction industries.


Standout delivery of an initial sub-contracting scope of works at BHP's Caval Ridge Mine led to larger direct contracting opportunities.


Accepting the award on behalf of his 150 staff, of which 35% are Indigenous, Tomlinson said: "As a company we are committed to making positive contributions to the communities in which we work, and I hope we can be a good example for others to set new standards in the engagement of Indigenous personnel".


BHP was named best company for an Indigenous employment and training initiative for its strategies to enhance the attraction and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the resources industry and broader economy.


The Big Australian has committed to a leadership parity target of 3% Indigenous representation at manager level and above by 2028.


The Indigenous Development Program and Indigenous Leadership Program supports the capability and progression of Indigenous employees within the business with leadership skills that are also valuable within community settings.


The program has 101 alumni with 33% experiencing a permanent role change and 17% becoming people leaders.


BHP Mitsubishi Alliance asset president James Palmer said the mining industry was working together to provide opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but more needed to be done to build economic empowerment, social development and cultural wellbeing.


"It is abundantly clear that by providing sustainable opportunities in education, employment and business for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, the benefits flow both ways," he said.