The Minerals Council of Australia today joined a number of its member companies in corporate partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, which improves the education, discipline, self-esteem, life skills and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
MCA Chief Executive Officer Tania Constable said: “Today’s commitment sends a clear message that Australian mining backs effective programs which support education, employment and a better future for young Aboriginal men.
“The MCA is proud and pleased to be joining many of our member companies and associate members in supporting the work of this great organisation.
“Many Clontarf graduates are now part of the world-class Australian minerals industry as part of the 82 per cent of Clontarf graduates who are employed or engaged in further training once they complete Year 12.
“Beyond its proven ability to partner with the mining industry in helping young Aboriginal boys find rewarding careers, the Clontarf Foundation has also been successful in improving their education, discipline, life skills and self-esteem.
“The families and communities of participants also benefit greatly from their involvement with the programme.”
The mining industry is a large employer of Indigenous Australians. In 2016, Indigenous Australians were 3.8 per cent of the mining industry workforce – more than double the national average of 1.7 per cent and the highest Indigenous employment share of all industries.
Attracting more Indigenous employees will help ensure the minerals industry has access to the broad range of skills and capabilities it needs in the future.
The Foundation’s network of Australian Rules and Rugby League Academies attract Aboriginal and Torres Strait teenagers to school and keep them there by requiring a commitment to school attendance in order to remain in the programme.
Clontarf Foundation Chief Executive Officer Gerard Neesham OAM said Clontarf was extremely proud and excited to have the MCA as an official partner as Clontarf continues its large-scale expansion across Australia.
“Many of our new operations will be located in regional mining towns and securing the backing of the MCA is going to further help Clontarf engage with local industry to support our operations and provide critical employment opportunities for our Year 12 leavers,” Mr Neesham said.
“Since we started in 2000, support from the mining industry has allowed Clontarf to grow at a consistent rate and reach many more communities across Australia.
“It has also been the industry which has provided the most jobs for our young men once they have finished school, and we look forward to working closely with both the MCA and their members for many years to come.”
The MCA is already a Major Partner of the Aurora Education Foundation, which supports young Indigenous men and women to complete high school, enhance academic achievement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students and paving the way to university.
The MCA also supports the Indigenous Australian Engineering School at Curtin University, which provides a forum for Indigenous students to meet engineering role models and gain insights into the possibilities for their future.