Resources – shaping our social landscape for the better
Premier’s Community Excellence Awards in Mining and Energy celebrate how resource companies reach above and beyond.
The creative and effective ways resource companies deliver social dividends in partnership with regional communities featured at the 2017 Premier’s Community Excellence Awards in Mining and Energy.
Staged in collaboration with the SACOME Together annual gala, the atmosphere was dynamic as a cross-section of business and community leaders joined to celebrate the industry’s highest achievers in creating shared value for their communities.
Thanking all entrants, Premier Jay Weatherill said the awards highlight the fact that – more than just having a major economic impact – the resources industry is also shaping our social landscape for the better.
The ceremony shone the spotlight on initiatives that enhance social cohesion, and contribute to vibrant and engaged communities and workplace diversity.
BHP was recognised in two award categories for their work in supporting communities and workforce diversity. Iluka Resources and joint applicants OZ Minerals and Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation were recognised for their work in social inclusion.
Premier Jay Weatherill presented awards or commendations across three categories: Excellence in Social Inclusion, Excellence in Supporting Communities and Excellence in Leadership – Women in Resources.
A judging panel drawn from the community and business assessed the applications.
BHP Olympic Dam won the Excellence in Supporting Communities category for its efforts to improve child and adult learning through its Mining Minds initiative.
BHP displayed exemplary collaboration in supporting community-wide participation to enhance educational outcomes in Olympic Dam’s host community of Roxby Downs and surrounding communities in the northern towns of Andamooka, Woomera and Marree.
The Mining Minds initiative has boosted learning outcomes for students and transformed educational collaboration. It has also effectively connected students with mentors within the community and developed pathways that enable students to remain with their families in regional towns, while fulfilling their educational ambitions. The initiative has been the driving force behind a community learning hub at Roxby Downs in partnership with the South Australian Government.
Directly attributed to the initiative, is the very significant attraction and retention of students at the Roxby Downs School, contributing to social cohesion in the community.
BHP Olympic Dam was also commended in the category Excellence in Leadership – Women and Resources for its work in increasing female representation and helping women to advance their careers. BHP has demonstrated a commitment to its diversity plan and for its vision to create a conducive work environment enabling women to flourish.
There were dual winners in the category Excellence in Social Inclusion for outstanding partnerships with Aboriginal people in regional communities – Iluka Resources and joint applicants OZ Minerals and Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation.
An enduring commitment to foster and maintain positive relationships through developing programs in conjunction with its communities in South Australia’s Far West earned Iluka Resources the award for Excellence in Social Inclusion.
During the suspension of mining at Jacinth-Ambrosia, Iluka has worked to successfully balance short-term challenges with the long-term goal of maximising employment pathways for Aboriginal employees and school leavers in the region.
Having implemented a myriad of collaborative training and employment initiatives to upskill Aboriginal employees and school leavers in accredited programs, numerous community members are now in a stronger position to take on new roles once mining resumes at Jacinth-Ambrosia, as well as pursue other opportunities. Where possible, Iluka worked to retain staff on site with a commitment to the Far West Coast Aboriginal people. Indigenous members currently make up 30% of the workforce, exceeding the aspirational target of 20%.
OZ Minerals and the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation also earned the award for their partnership model for the Carrapateena Project, where both parties have an agreement on how to communicate and work together.
This partnering goes beyond a transactional arrangement, to one which is about the co-design of solutions. Along the way, the partnership continues to develop employment and business – with a new Aboriginal business commencing a water carting contract that will assist in dust management at the operations.
– Grace Taylor and Melissa Muller