Winun Ngari and Nirrumbuk Partner Up for Thunderbird

Written on the 17 August 2017

Winun Ngari and Nirrumbuk Partner Up for Thunderbird

Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation in Derby and Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation in Broome are delighted to announce the signing of an agreement for a Construction Work Ready Program, with Sheffield Resources and the Thunderbird Mineral Sands Project, located mid-way between Derby and Broome.

The program will provide Aboriginal people from the area with the opportunity of employment at Thunderbird, during the construction phase, which is planned to commence later this year.

Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation and Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporation have tailored the work ready program to ensure the participants have the skills to be meaningfully engaged in the construction activities and then move to operational roles, once Thunderbird is constructed.

The selection of participants for the program will occur over the next two weeks, with the 16- week program commencing with a five-day My River Camp training program at the Balginjirr community, in early September. Graduates from the program are expected to be offered employment by Sheffield Resources.

Susan Murphy, CEO Winun Ngari and Joe Grande CEO Nirrumbuk commented, "We are pleased to be assisting Sheffield in the running of their first Aboriginal work ready program, for the Thunderbird Project and their commitment to training and employment of Aboriginal people from the West Kimberley. Our organisations have a long history in preparing people from the Kimberley for work in the construction and mining industry and we look forward to supporting Sheffield in this program."

They also commented that "Sheffield has shown their commitment to Aboriginal employment with the recent appointment of Roneill Skeen, a Nyikina Gooniyandi man from Looma and Terry Marshall, a Nyikina Traditional Owner of Bedanburu, to the Thunderbird Ranger Team and previous employment of Justin King, a Karajarri Traditional Owner from Bidyadanga as a Senior Community Advisor".

Stuart Pether, Chief Operating Officer at Sheffield Resources, congratulated Ms Murphy and Mr Grande on their shared vision for achieving long-term Aboriginal employment.

"Only with the support of the local community will Sheffield be successful in the development of the Thunderbird Project and achieving our Aboriginal employment targets and local business spend commitments. The construction work ready program enables training and development to commence during the construction period, in addition to our commitment of employment of skilled Aboriginal and local people," Mr Pether said.

"Traditionally, training of unskilled workers is difficult to achieve during the construction period, as most people are employed by short term contractors with the focus of completing the job on time and budget. The construction work ready program will ensure training and development of Aboriginal employees will commence during the construction period as well.

"We remain hopeful that the appeal lodged by the Traditional Owners in the Federal Court can be resolved swiftly, in order to realize the benefits of Thunderbird in the community. The work ready program is just the start of these benefits. We plan to be working in the Kimberley for many decades and together we can deliver long term benefits and real jobs.

"The West Kimberley's overwhelming support for the Project is very encouraging and I welcome and congratulate both Winun Ngari and Nirrumbuk Aboriginal Corporations on our new partnership" Mr Pether said.

Photo Caption (L to R)
Winun Ngari and Nirrumbuk Partner Up for Thunderbird
Standing, Bala Suppiah Nirrumbuk, Justin King Sheffield, Ambrose Phillips Winun Ngari
Seated, Joe Grande Nirrumbuk, Stuart Pether Sheffield, David D'Antoine Winun Ngari


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