Since its first intake in 2014, Curragh’s award-winning Oothungs in Mining (Sisters in Mining) training program has supported nine Indigenous women through two-year traineeships, giving these local women the opportunity for a great start in a resources sector career.
The program is focused on maximising employment opportunities for disadvantaged Indigenous women in Central Queensland, and increasing the number of women in the traditionally male-dominated mining industry.
Successful graduates are awarded a Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations and Certificate III in Resource Planning, which are nationally recognised qualifications.
Importantly, while formal skills training and mentoring are the mainstays of the program, other career skills such as goal-setting, negotiation, nutrition and personal financial management are also covered. The broader issues of learning to deal with shift-work and a challenging business environment are all part of the experience the women gain from the program.
Today, eight of the Oothungs in Mining graduates continue to work at Curragh in operator roles in the mining and coal handling preparation plant areas. Of these, three have given back to the next generation of trainees by participating as ‘big sisters’ (mentors) through the program.