Yarbun Rhunga_Coronado

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Indigenous students from Blackwater State High School are deepening their understanding of local Cultural Heritage practices and career pathways in the resources sector at a two-day experience organised by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA), the education arm of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Thanks to support from Coronado Global Resources’ Curragh mine, 25 local students discovered the various career pathways on offer in the resources sector at the local Curragh operations and are today participating in Yarbun Rhunga or ‘learning day’.

QRC Director of Skills, Education and Diversity, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said this unique experience developed by the QMEA in partnership with Coronado Global Resources, allows students to learn more about the lands of the Gaangalu Nation People.

“We are privileged to have proud Ghungalu man Milton Lawton lead today’s learning experience, sharing his traditional knowledge of the area by passing on cultural and environmental history to the next generation,” Ms Jones said.

“Now in its second year and offered exclusively to local Indigenous students, Yarbun Rhunga helps these young men and women draw stronger connections between cultural heritage values and the resources sector.”

Coronado Global Resources Chief People and Sustainability Officer, Ms Emma Pollard said yesterday, staff from the Curragh mine site shared their personal insights into the steps that led them to a rewarding career in the sector.

“This was an excellent opportunity for some of our local employees to talk about their own career pathways and professional experiences,” Ms Pollard said.

“The group was excited to see some pretty impressive machinery, helping them understand how exciting local community job opportunities, like operators, support the mining industry.”

Blackwater State High School Principal, Ms Rebecca Godfrey said this cultural and educational experience gives students an insight into local employment pathways and provides an opportunity to pursue a rewarding career and still stay connected to their land and families.

“Excursions like this with real-world applications allow these young students to start thinking about relevant tertiary education or training after school,” Ms Godfrey said.

“It’s also a great chance for them to hear firsthand from someone like Milton with deep connections to the land.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools training initiative, the QMEA seeks to broaden student and teacher knowledge of career opportunities in resources.

The academy encourages a talent pipeline of employees into vocational and professional careers, with a focus on female and Indigenous participation. The QMEA currently engages with 90 schools and is a partnership between the QRC and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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