The Gold Industry Group recognises and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as our nation’s first custodians. Indigenous Australians are advised the following content and other pages on this website may contain the images, voices and names of deceased persons. When notified by the community of an individual’s passing, we will make all reasonable efforts to publish the appropriate content on this website without referring to that individual.
Gold mining operations across the nation are helping to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, creating life-changing education and job opportunities.
Indigenous Australians have played an integral role in the gold sector, since assisting early prospectors of the 1800’s gold rushes with their knowledge of the land, to taking up a multitude of job opportunities today.
Historically, early settlers marveled at their impressive physical hunting skills ability to read the landscape. Their efficient shelter constructions became the models for early gold miners, and they assisted those who had become lost or had run out of food. Indigenous Australians also found gold independently and used it to trade, and sell food and clothing to the miners as well as provided information on how to track or locate water sources.
Today, gold mining companies have strong relationships with Australia’s traditional owners, and their operations in or near Indigenous communities provide the local people with employment, education or training opportunities, infrastructure, support for social programs, and other services or benefits.
Gold Industry Group’s Partnership with Shooting Stars and Netball WA
As their first Premier Partner, the Gold Industry Group and Shooting Stars – an initiative of Netball WA and Glass Jar Australia – are making a significant contribution to Western Australia’s Indigenous communities through its ground-breaking, three-year partnership.
Shooting Stars uses netball and other tools as vehicles to drive greater engagement and attendance at school of young Indigenous girls living in WA’s remote communities and regional towns. The Gold Industry Group’s support is making the program sustainable and expanding its reach, with a new site at Laverton in the WA Goldfields region and exploration of a national footprint.
The support will continue to enhance the experience for Shooting Stars’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants across the State, boosting programs such as rewards camps and supporting the development of its trainees.
Netball WA further support indigenous participants through a range of annual events, including an Aboriginal Youth Gala day for community-based teams aged 10-18 years, the Multicultural Carnival, and the nation’s biggest netball event celebrating NAIDOC Week – the Netball WA NAIDOC Netball Carnival.
Get into Mining at Tropicana
Get into Mining is a paid, eight-week course for Aboriginal people based in the Eastern Goldfields of WA and is designed to give candidates the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the mining industry.
The Program includes partial completion of a Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations, with candidates who successfully finish the course able to select from a range of trainee positions at the Tropicana gold mine – a joint venture by AngloGold Ashanti Australia and IGO Limited.
WA Mining Club
The WA Mining Club offers two Indigenous Student Scholarships, each sponsored by Sandfire Resources and IGO Limited.
Each scholarship is awarded to an indigenous student pursuing post-High School study, either at TAFE (including apprenticeships) or at University. Consideration will also be given to students who will undertake Year 11 or Year 12 in 2020, who can demonstrate a strong desire to work in the mining industry after finishing High School and who have the potential to become leaders in their community.
Recipients will be able to take advantage of a mentoring program, provided by senior industry participants from the Scholarship co-sponsors, vacation work and networking opportunities.
Networking and Assistance
Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia
The newly formed Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia organisation was founded to create a stronger connection with indigenous women to the gold sector.
IWIMRA is focused on forming a national framework that will support Indigenous women who are currently participating and aspiring to grow within this sector. Their end goal is to establish positive role models within the industry, at decision making levels, and is starting with positive daily conversations.
Honouring Indigenous Land and Culture
Newcrest Mining’s Telfer gold mine in the Pilbara region of WA have a five-year Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the traditional owners of the surrounding land – the Martu people – and through this agreement sees the Company provide practical support to improve the quality of life for Martu, including in the areas of training, logistics, employment and contracting.
Northern Star Resources’ Jundee operation develops specific training programs to help the local Indigenous people acquire work ready skills and has successfully developed Indigenous business enterprises, to provide short-term labour resources to the mine, including the current Martu Ranger Program (now in its 7th year).
The Martu Ranger Group provide environmental and land management services to the Jundee operations and associated pastoral tenements. The Martu Survey (the Muntjiltjarra Wurrgumu Group) project, developed under the banner of the Regional Partnership Agreement, was also a finalist in the 2014 Reconciliation Australia Indigenous Governance Awards and now also a finalist in the DMP Community Partnerships Awards.
At Gruyere, Gold Fields and Gold Road Resources have built a relationship with the Yilka People (the determined Native Title holders for the area, together with the Sullivan Edwards family) through a formal Native Title agreement. Through regular engagement the Company pursue opportunities for employment and contracting, as well as manage environmental and cultural heritage issues throughout the construction phase.
At St Ives, Gold Fields engage with the Ngadju People, the determined native holders for the area, with a focus on the conduct of heritage surveys.
At Agnew, Gold Fields have relationships with the Tjiwarl People (determined Native Title holders for part of the land) and the Wutha People (Native Title claimants over the remaining part of the property). The Company regularly engage with both groups in relation to the conduct of heritage surveys and are exploring opportunities to formalise these arrangements.
At Granny Smith, Gold Fields’ key relationship is with the local community at Laverton. The Company continues to build on a relationship with Indigenous people in the area through the conduct of heritage surveys and cultural awareness programs.
Evolution Mining and the Johnathan Thurston Academy signed a two-year partnership to help improve access to employment and training opportunities for local and Indigenous jobseekers aged between 16 and 25 across Australia.
As part of the agreement, the Academy conduct JTSucceed programs at each mining site, with the topics including self-belief, courage, confidence, behaviour, personal branding and employment pathways.
Newmont’s Tanami operation contributes millions of dollars annually to Northern Territory economy through employment, purchases, taxes, government royalties, land use, salaries and supporting community projects. This investment includes capacity-building activities, scholarships, in-kind support and sponsorship grants.
Newmont also invests in support for the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation staff housing; the Waninjawarnu Project, which provides resources on nutrition and healthcare to parents; the National Indigenous Music Awards; and the Books in Willowra Homes project, which works to improve literacy among young children in the community.