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Program designed to fast-track Indigenous mining leaders

David Prestipino -

Indigenous workers in the resources sector with aspirations for senior leadership roles have an opportunity to upskill and fast-track their development.

KingKira Group and the WA Mining Club's Indigenous Upskilling Scholarship was designed to encourage and nurture development of Indigenous leaders across the sector.

The program is also focused on ensuring First Nations students in mining-related disciplines completed their degrees and increased Indigenous representation across the industry.

Each scholarship winner receives a $10,000 grant along with additional benefits including mentoring, career support and increased visibility within the industry, with recipients selected by a panel that considered their academic and work history, personal circumstances, financial position and commitment to forging a career.

The scholarship attracts hundreds of applicants from diverse institutions such as Curtin University, Edith Cowan, Murdoch, the University of Western Australia and high schools across regional WA.

The Indigenous Upskilling Scholarship supports further development of Indigenous professionals already working in mining and help the attain additional qualifications that otherwise might be out of reach.

KingKira founder and managing director, Tammy O'Connor, a Traditional Owner from the Pilbara region with Nyiyaparli and Palyku Aboriginal heritage, said the funding helped Indigenous professionals attain additional qualifications required for various leadership roles across the sector in WA.

KingKira's diverse fleet has serviced several major projects in the Pilbara region, including Fortescue's Iron Bridge Project, since Ms O'Connor established the business in 2014, driving the company's organic growth with innovative services across WA.

Ms O'Connor works with Pilbara stakeholders to facilitate ongoing opportunities for First Nations communities through training, employment and mentoring, while ensuring sustainable management of the lands on which KingKira operates.

The latest initiative follows a raft of lucrative new scholarships announced last week to encourage more Indigenous leaders and First Nations students complete their degrees in various sectors.

The WA Mining Club was formed in 1972 to champion the growth and positive influence of the sector, with membership since quadrupling to more than 800 representatives, who share general and technical information to help advance WA's lucrative mining industry.

Applicants for the Indigenous Upskilling Scholarship must currently work in the mining industry and study within the 2024 year. Eligibility requirements and enrolments can be found on the WA Mining Club website.

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