Aboriginal Relations

COMMITTED TO INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION

Delivering real jobs and real opportunities

As a proudly Australian company that calls the Gunnedah Basin home, at Whitehaven Coal we don’t take the support of local communities for granted. We want to ensure that the benefits from our operations accrue locally – including to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Whitehaven is proud to have launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Click here to download the document.

The Innovate RAP focuses on practical and meaningful efforts Whitehaven will undertake to address issues affecting local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It is our strong belief that the best way we can support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with  the opportunity for to secure stable, long term employment. To find out more view our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy.

Significantly Whitehaven set a target that within five years of our new Maules Creek mine commencing production, 10 per cent of the 400 plus strong workforce would be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders decent. At a current level of 15%, we have had a great start and the challenge now is to build on this.

We decided to set ourselves this goal, not because we have to, but because it’s the right thing to do. We believe that self-respect and a secure future very often starts with a skill and a wage.

This plan goes beyond providing jobs at Whitehaven, it also seeks to support the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community by working closely with the Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, improving cultural awareness and understanding and by finding better ways to engage with local Aboriginal women.

We recognise there is a lot more to do and we are committed to working with Whitehaven’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders to test and trial approaches to building relationships, showing respect and improving opportunities in the years ahead.

PROGRESS MADE IN FY16

  • 11% of our workforce identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Launch of Whitehaven’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (to 2017)
  • Native Title Agreement signed with local Gomeroi Applicants
  • More than 50 new local indigenous jobs at Maules Creek (mainly trainee operators)
  • At Maules Creek, 12% of the current workforce are Indigenous.
  • Approximately $10m in wages and benefits flowing through to indigenous families back into local communities annually
  • Whitehaven has set a target of 10% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment at our new world-class Maules Creek mine. At a current level of 15%, we have had a great start and the challenge now is to build on this.
  • Across our Company of nearly 800 employees, 8% self-identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • Whitehaven do not support a fly-in fly-out workforce, more than 75% of our employees live in our local government areas of Narrabri, Gunnedah and Liverpool Plains.
  • Whitehaven has pledged continued support for the Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.
  • Whitehaven are the proud shirt sponsors of the Gomeroi Roos, an under 15 boys Aboriginal junior rugby league team.
  • Through our Aboriginal Community Relations Officer, we will increase cultural awareness and understanding both within Whitehaven and externally.