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A taste of FIFO life for scholarship students at FMG's Eliwana mine site

David Prestipino -

Ten students recently got a taste of the FIFO lifestyle and a unique tour of sites of cultural significance during a special visit to Fortescue Metals Group's Eliwana mine site in the Pilbara.

The FMG scholarship winners were joined by two staff from MADALAH, which for the past 14 years has supported thousands of remote Indigenous students and their families who face financial and geographical challenges to education.

The students had a Welcome to Country by a Guruma Traditional Owner, who then took them on a tour through nearby sites of cultural significance at Eliwana. 

The group was also shown Fortescue's mobile maintenance and ore processing facilities, gaining valuable insights into the working operations of a mine site.

FMG's Eliwana iron ore mine is 90km west of Tom Price and is the core of the company's Western Hub, one of three of its active mining areas, together with the Chichester Hub and Solomon Hub.

A not-for-profit organisation, MADALAH offers secondary and tertiary education scholarships and has been a corporate partner with Fortescue since November 2021, with FMG providing scholarships over three years for eight secondary and two tertiary students from high-performing schools across Perth, including Hale, St Hilda's, Aquinas College, Guildford Grammar, Scotch College and Curtin.

FMG has committed $750,000 to MADALAH, ensuring Indigenous students continue to be offered scholarships to some of the state's leading boarding schools and Australian universities.

Fortescue director of Aboriginal Engagement, Community and Government Warren Fish said the company wanted to drive real economic and generational change in the regions it operated. 

"We are proud to partner with MADALAH, the largest Aboriginal scholarship funding body in WA," he said..

"Education is the key to opportunity and enacting generational change. 

"It is critical that Aboriginal people are empowered through education opportunities, such as secondary and tertiary schooling, to assist them in becoming role models and future leaders." 

MADALAH chief executive officer Laura Taylor said the Fortescue funding directly supported the education of 11 students throughout the Pilbara, helping them realise their career aspirations. 

"MADALAH works with students to develop their individual leadership potential, provide mentoring, and support sustainable career pathway plans and opportunities for them," she said.

Since 2023, MADALAH has also offered TAFE scholarships to Fortescue-funded students. 

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