Trainees from Caval Ridge Mine.
Trainees from Caval Ridge Mine.

’A place to call home’: How traineeship changed man’s life

TWENTY Indigenous workers started traineeships at Caval Ridge Mine in Moranbah last month.

The program, developed in collaboration with the Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation, has the trainees completing a Certificate II in surface extraction and resource processing and working in teams involved in various aspects of mining.

BMA said about half of the trainees were Barada Barna people, the rest being from across Queensland.

Trainee drill operator Chris Brown said he was thrilled when he found out he had a permanent job through the traineeship program.

He said he was saving to buy his first home.

"I haven't had a dream in a long time, but I've already started placing targets and setting goals," Mr Brown said.

"The most valuable material thing I've ever owned is a second hand 2004 Mazda 6.

"Now, I'm thinking about finding a nice place to buy a house and settle down - a place to call home that I can actually own."

"Like any job, the first weeks are always daunting. Once I actually started and I met the team, all of these feelings went away and now I'm just excited to learn."

Caval Ridge Mine general manager Brad Prytherch said Caval Ridge Mine was on Barada Barna Country and the company was working closely with Traditional Owners to create opportunities for their people and other Indigenous people in Queensland.

"We respect their ongoing custodianship and connection to this country and we want to ensure that the benefits of mining are shared with them," he said.

"BMA recognises that we are stronger when we provide a work environment that appreciates our differences, where people feel included and are treated fairly and with respect."