Miners welcome Indigenous investment

22nd February 2022

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia


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PERTH ( – The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has welcomed a A$21.9-million investment by the federal government into a new Indigenous Leadership and Governance package.

The package includes A$13.5-million for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) to continue its operations and implement a strategic plan for expansion to support young Indigenous Australians to undertake leadership roles, further education and employment, A$6.7-million for the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC) to develop governance training materials for Indigenous organisations, and A$1.7-million to the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to provide scholarships for Indigenous Australians to undertake company directors’ courses, and to monitor and evaluate the entire package.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the investment would support thousands of Indigenous individuals and many organisations to realise their potential.

“Our A$13.5-million investment in the AIME program will extend this successful program by three years to 2025 and expand its support to 10 000 students a year, up from the current 6 000 students a year,” the Prime Minister said.

“This will ensure even more young Indigenous Australians can realise their leadership potential and career dreams through this proven mentoring and skills development program, and become the next generation of leaders in business, community and the public sector.

“In addition, Indigenous businesses will be strengthened with a A$6.7-million investment in governance, and we are providing A$1.7-million to deliver scholarships for Indigenous Australians to undertake company director courses to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the skills to take their business to the next level or sit on the boards of our top companies.

“This is about maximising the burgeoning opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as the economic advancement of all Indigenous Australians. With the right support and opportunities, even more Indigenous Australians will be able to launch from entry-level roles into higher-skilled and higher-paying technical, managerial and leadership careers.”

MCA CEO Tania Constable said this week that the investment in current and future Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders would pay strong dividends for mining regions and business.

“Funding for more Indigenous Australians to undertake company directors courses also recognises the importance of increasing their representation in business leadership roles.

This includes in the minerals industry, which is working to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mining engineering, professional and leadership positions.

“Currently, Indigenous Australians make up 3.7% of Australia’s overall workforce, and up to 20% at some mine sites, and about 10% of industry apprentices and trainees. Mining also became the largest employer of Indigenous Australian men in remote areas in 2016.

“Mining has a strong track record of supporting Indigenous businesses, with Indigenous business owner managers accounting for double the share of non-Indigenous owner managers in the sector,” said Constable.

“Building on decades of growth in the Indigenous mining equipment, technology and services sector, Aboriginal-owned mines and projects are also emerging. These include Yolngu-owned Gulkula bauxite mine and Anindilyakwa-owned minerals project in the Northern Territory.”

Constable said that the new funding will also help Indigenous entrepreneurs to grow and develop their businesses, and that the Australian minerals industry would look for opportunities to complement these initiatives as part of its work to support implementation of the National Roadmap on Indigenous Jobs, Skills and Wealth Creation.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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