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Future tradies learn from our experts

Never missing an opportunity to impart our knowledge to youngsters keen to work in the mining industry, our Mining team recently participated in a Toolkit for Schoolkids workshop run by our corporate partners, the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) at TAFE Queensland Skillstech’s campus in Brisbane.

Twenty-five Year 10 students from a number of South East Queensland schools came along to gain an insight into the life of a tradesperson working in the resources sector.

The students participated in various practical activities throughout the day, and also had the opportunity to interview some of our people about their own career journeys. Meandu HST Coordinator Charles Curran, Regional Plant Superintendent Jay Leeson and Senior Organisational Development Advisor Pia Cappiello all shared their unique experiences.

Women inspire women

We realise that if we’re to meet our target of 18% female participation in our Mining business by 2020, we need to ensure that young women are empowered to make decisions relating to their future.

With this in mind, we were happy to provide $3,000 in funding to enable six female students from the South Burnett region (home to Meandu Mine) to attend the Queensland Rural, Regional and Remote Women’s Network (QRRRWN) State Conference in Biloela in September. The QRRRWN is an organisation that participates in a number of business, community and volunteer programs to build stronger communities and enhance female leadership.

The girls’ attendance was part of an Aspiration and Resilience program being driven by Nanango State High School teacher Kayleen Freeman, who believes that it will expose them to the qualities and skills necessary to prosper in non-traditional and diverse roles in rural communities.

Kayleen’s goal is to help build resilience in such communities, and most specifically in the South Burnett region, by supporting young women at high school level in their academic, sporting, social and community endeavours.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Women Inspiring Women’, and it appears that this is exactly what happened. Kayleen reported back that the venture was an outstanding success:

"Thanks so much for your funding. The eight girls had an extremely fulfilling experience at the QRRRWN State conference. Some of the outcomes for the girls, developed directly or indirectly from the conference, were that they:

  • Found mentors in the fields of employment they are interested in;
  • Had photos and discussions with Deb Frecklington (MP Nanango/Shadow Agricultural Minister), Shannon Fentiman (Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Child Safety and Multicultural Affairs), and many other successful women living and working in rural, regional and remote communities;
  • Participated in a variety of workshops involved with personal growth, community and education, arts and culture, health, business and environment; and
  • Were interviewed by ABC OPEN.

Yanna Wilson performed an impromptu traditional Indigenous dance as a thank you to the many women that listened, inspired and connected with the South Burnett Girls. A few of the girls have already organised mentors and work experience, but most of all developed a huge amount of confidence.

I, personally, am so proud of these young women, and know that, through this conference, they have developed skills and enthusiasm to bring about adaptions and innovations to ensure social and economic sustainability of rural, regional and remote communities."

View the recent article that featured in the South Burnett Times

Rail Careers Week

Rail Careers Week, held over September 2015 was aimed at promoting awareness about the network of opportunities in the Rail industry. 

Rail employees from the Culture & Engagement team and Auburn Maintenance Centre (AMC) visited Year 10 students at Auburn Girls High School in Sydney.

Lakshita Seth, Electrical Apprentice, Sylvia Iskander, Fleet Performance Engineer, and Shane Snook, Apprentice Program Coordinator, inspired students with stories of personal challenges as well as successes.

"It is important that we continue to support Rail Careers Week by influencing and educating young people about Downer and the Rail industry. Congratulations to the team for supporting this important initiative." Steve Schofield, Group Head of HR.