Industry Collaboration Award

The Industry Collaboration Award recognises an exemplary skills development collaboration between an employer or industry body and, at least, one other organisation.

The Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining Program is a collaboration of Thiess, Wesfarmers Curragh and The Salvation Army Employment Plus and was formed to assist local unemployed Indigenous women enter Queensland’s mining industry. The tailored pre-employment program prepares graduates with a combination of learning, including life skills, classroom-based training and on the job experience in a state of the art Haul Truck Simulator. In 2014, the program won the Industry Collaboration Award at the Australian Training Awards.

"This award gives us the recognition and affirms the success of the tailored training program," Employment Plus Managing Director, Greg Moult said.

"In winning this award we would like to thank and acknowledge all the dedicated staff involved. Without their hard work and diligence, this program wouldn’t be the success it is."

Following successful completion of the program, a competency-based traineeship is undertaken, contributing to a nationally recognised Certificate II in Surface Mine Extraction Operations. This traineeship can take between 12 months to two years, after which participants emerge as fully qualified haul truck operators. The Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining Program is supported by a range of community organisations, and the traditional owners of the area.

"The combined expertise of The Salvation Army Employment Plus, Wesfarmers Curragh and Thiess has produced a truly outstanding result for diversity in the mining industry" said Douglas Thompson, General Manager Mining, Thiess. The program has now been run successfully at two coal mines in Central Queensland."

Since forming the collaboration, the Program has created a sustainable entry pathway for Indigenous women into the mining industry, and has helped build a more diverse and inclusive culture in Queensland’s mining industry.