Qld resources sector best on ground for Indigenous jobs

  • Posted 26 May, 2022
  • Media Releases

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Click here for finalist headshots.

Click here for TV and audio grabs from QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane.

Click here for photo of keynote speaker Brad Welsh.


Townsville Diesel fitter William Matters and People and Culture graduate Keziah Alimpulos from Brisbane are two of the youngest state finalists in this year’s Indigenous Awards hosted by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).

Both are competing in the Indigenous Rising Star award, one of six awards to be presented at a gala event on June 23 at Rydges South Bank, supported by event partner Rio Tinto.

Click here for a full list of award finalists.

In the lead-up to next week’s National Reconciliation Week, William and Keziah are part of a growing number of young Indigenous people developing impressive trade and professional career paths in Queensland’s $84.3 billion resources sector.

The QRC is set to release Queensland’s latest Indigenous employment figures for the resources sector at a gala awards event on June 23, with new data to show jobs for First Nations people increased by almost 16 percent in 2020-21.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the council’s Indigenous Participation Report will show more Indigenous people than ever before now work in resources, earning an annual, average income of about $121,000.

He said the report reveals resources companies continue to be Queensland’s number one private sector employer of Indigenous people.

“On top of this encouraging result, Queensland resources companies increased their spending with Indigenous businesses by more than 20 percent last financial year to reach a record $82.7 million, which is the result of a concerted effort to offer more opportunities through their supply chains,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“We expect this upwards trend to continue as these relationships develop and diversify.”

Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector’s Indigenous employment rate has risen to a record 5.8 percent, which is well above Queensland’s total Indigenous population rate of 4 percent.

“Another stand-out result contained in the upcoming report is that 33 percent of our Indigenous workforce are now female, which exceeds our current overall female employment rate of 20 percent.

“We hope figures like this encourage more Indigenous women, and more women in general, to work in our sector or to pursue a trade or tertiary pathway to get there.”

To make this year’s awards even more special, the keynote speaker is former QRC Indigenous Award winner Brad Welsh (link to photo above), who is now CEO of Energy Resources Australia and the first Indigenous Australian to lead a Top 500 ASX-listed minerals company.

To register to attend, visit www.qrc.org.au/events

Thank you to event partner Rio Tinto and sponsors Evolution Mining (Platinum), South 32 (Apparel), Anglo American (Culture and Arts), Hatch (QMEA Student), Thiess (Gold), Whitehaven Coal (Gold), New Century Resources (Silver), Sandvik (Silver), Arrow Energy (Bronze) and Bravus Mining and Resources (Bronze).