All Female Tradies_BMA 1

Click here for ‘All Female Tradies for a Day’ at Moranbah State High School.

Click here for ‘All Female Tradies for a Day’ at Pioneer State High School (Mackay).

Click here for ‘All Female Tradies for a Day’ at Blackwater State High School.


An innovative initiative aimed at breaking down gender barriers and fostering diversity in the resources sector has seen three inspiring trade workshops delivered in Mackay, Dysart, and Blackwater by the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA).

Thanks to support from BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), about 40 Year 10 female students from across Central Queensland explored exciting career opportunities in the resources and energy sector through hands-on trade activities like auto electrics, pneumatics, welding principles, engineering measurement, engineering drawing, and mechanical.

QMEA Director, Ms Katrina-Lee Jones said the ‘All Female Tradies for a Day’ events provided invaluable insights into the local mining industry while demonstrating how the sector is fostering diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

“These workshops brought together a diverse group of talented young women from Sarina, Mackay Northern Beaches, Pioneer, Moranbah, Dysart, Blackwater and Emerald state high schools who were eager to gain practical knowledge and explore potential career paths in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry,” Ms Jones said.

“Students got the opportunity to try out various trade roles in the safety of their classroom environment and work alongside experienced tradespeople and apprentices from BMA who shared their valuable expertise and personal stories of success in the resources sector.”

Blackwater Mine General Manager Dan Iliffe said the workshops were one of many initiatives to empower future female leaders to join the mining industry and pursue a rewarding career at BMA.

“Women now represent more than a third of BHP’s workforce and for the third year in a row, women have outnumbered men in BMA’s apprentice intake,” he said.

“We are determined to achieve gender balance that better reflects the broader community, and programs like this help encourage more women into the resources sector.”

Blackwater State High School Principal, Mrs Rebecca Vitale said the workshops cleverly showcased the many possibilities that await young women interested in pursuing trade careers in mining.

“The resources sector plays a critical role in our local community, and this learning experience helped highlight the equal opportunities available to females considering a vocational pathway after school,” Mrs Vitale said.

“Diversity and inclusion are critical to the future success of all industries – especially resources and energy. By inspiring and empowering young women, the QMEA and BMA are taking a significant step towards achieving a more balanced workforce.”

As Australia’s largest and most successful industry-led education and schools 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 over 90 schools and is a partnership between industry and the Queensland Government under its Gateway to Industry Schools program.

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