First Gumatj mine training centre graduates secure local jobs

01 December 2017

The first Indigenous graduates from a Northern Territory mine training centre established by the Gumatj Corporation have already secured local employment.

Ten local and regional Indigenous employees attended a graduation ceremony this morning at the Gulkula Regional Training Centre four months after commencing training at the site on the Dhupuma Plateau in Northeast Arnhem Land.

The centre was developed with support from Rio Tinto, and the Northern Territory and Federal governments and was established with the adjacent Gulkula mine, the first Aboriginal owned bauxite mining operation offering on-the-job learning opportunities for trainees.

Rio Tinto has also seen its local partnerships evolve with a new role as a customer of the Gulkula mine. In August this year, Rio Tinto signed a sales term sheet signifying intent to purchase bauxite from the Gulkula Mine. The mine was also officially opened today by Gumatj clan leader Dr. Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM.

Over the next 12-15 years, Rio Tinto will export to both domestic and international customers.

Gumatj Corporation CEO Klaus Helms said "This is a special day for Yolngu people as a significant step forward has been achieved in building a sustainable future for our local communities.

Pictured: Gumatj clan leader Dr. Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM and the trainees

"The trainees have not only undergone job readiness training but have already secured jobs at our Gulkula mine, Rio Tinto’s Gove bauxite mine and other local businesses.

"We are very proud of the trainees and look forward to following their progress as they put their skills and experience to work within mining and other industries."

The training centre and mine are 100 per cent owned by the Gumatj Corporation and aim to deliver ongoing economic benefits for local Yolngu people.

Industry training streams available at the centre includes mining activities, civil construction, building construction, catering and administration.

Rio Tinto Gove Operations general manager Linda Murry said: "Rio Tinto is proud to partner on this training programme with the aim to increase Yolngu participation in mining and other industries.

Pictured: Rio Tinto Gove Operations general manager Linda Murry with new employee Caleb Munyarryun

"We are delighted one of the graduates has been confirmed to work at our Gove bauxite mine. We will continue to welcome trainees to on-the-job placements at the mine and look forward to an increased Yolngu workforce as graduates move on from the centre.

"The programme to date has been a tremendous success and we would like to congratulate the Gumatj Corporation and the first group of trainees on this great achievement."

Rio Tinto provided $2.4 million to the Gumatj Corporation to assist with development of the Gulkula Regional Training Centre. The Northern Territory and Australian Governments also contributed funding to the project.