Resources celebrates three years of Oothungs

The award-winning Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining training program recently celebrated its third birthday, with a further six Indigenous women receiving a two-year traineeship at Curragh. Oothungs means 'sisters' in the language of the Ghungalu people, the traditional owners of the country where the Curragh Mine is located.

At the successful completion of their traineeship, Oothungs in Mining participants will be awarded a nationally accredited Certificate III in Surface Extraction Operations and Certificate III in Resource Planning and will be well placed to take the next step in their careers.

A joint initiative between Wesfarmers Resources and Thiess, the Oothungs in Mining program seeks to maximise employment opportunities for disadvantaged Indigenous women in central Queensland. Importantly, the program also helps to increase the number of women in the male-dominated resources sector.

Program participants learn a range of new skills, while also learning how to deal with the demands of shift-work and the pressures of working in a challenging business environment.

In addition to formal training and mentoring, participants receive assistance with goal-setting, negotiation skills, nutrition and personal financial management.

So far, 14 Indigenous women have participated in the program, which is likely to continue with a fourth intake planned for the 2017-18 financial year.