A collaboration of Thiess, Wesfarmers and The Salvation Army Employment Plus

A unique pathway for Indigenous women in Central Queensland, the Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining Program is a four-week pre-employment programme that prepares its participants for a career as a trainee haul truck operator. Following completion of the programme, a competency-based traineeship can be undertaken, contributing to a nationally recognised Certificate II in Surface Mine Extraction Operations and a permanent, full-time position as a haul truck operator.

The programme commenced as a pilot in 2010, with six Indigenous women participating. Based on the success of this pilot, the current programme was launched in 2013. The pre-employment programme has since been replicated at two coal mines.

The programme was developed with engagement from a range of community organisations, and traditional owners of the land. As well as technical competencies, the programme provides training in a range of life skills including negotiation and goal setting.