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Australian Mining Prospect Awards Finalist: Community Interaction

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The shortlist for the 10th Annual Prospect Awards Community Interaction award.

BMA's Buying Local Program 

For its focus on working closely with the community and ensuring the benefits of the industry are spread throughout the region, BMA has been nominated for the Community Interaction award. 
It was recognised for its Buying Local Program and its strategy focused on empowering local communities to "help them, help themselves". 
BMA did through the program which sourced goods and services from local businesses in the communities where our operations are located and its workforce live. Through a purpose built online engagement tool, BMA employees can communicate supply requirements to registered local small businesses, which can now profile their capabilities right across BMA and compete for a greater variety of work opportunities.  
In addition to opening up greater opportunities for local businesses, BMA is also helping the broader business community build their capabilities through the Local Buying Community Foundation, which is funded through contributions made by BMA for each procurement transaction processed through the Program. Through this continuous investment back into BMA's communities, these programs are helping to create more competitive local supply markets and a stronger regional economy.  
The BMA Local Buying Program is the first initiative of its type within the resources industry. 

Rio Tinto's Clermont Mine programs 

Rio Tinto's Clermont coal mine has been nominated for the Community Interaction for its commitment to its social licence to operate. 
It has a number of long term community programs, including ones with both the local and local Indigenous community. 
It created an Aboriginal Community Development Fund for the Wangan and Jagalingou people, employed traditional owner groups on site, and closely manages cultural heritage sites at the mine in conjunction with the local groups. 
Rio Tinto has also created the Clermont Community Consultative Forum (CCC), the Clermont Preferred Future group (CPF), and the Groundwater and Environmental Reference Group (GERG). 
The CCC is focused on company transparency and communication between the mine and community, while the CPF focuses on working towards Clermont's future post-mining and attracting business to town and creating sustainable development. 
The GERG is about near neighbour engagement, with Rio stating From the GERG meeting the Offsite Impact Group was formed at Clermont Mine. The aim of this group is for frontline supervisors to visit neighbouring properties to better understand the effects of the mine on our neighbours. This has resulted in fewer complaints in 2013 than in previous years and with quicker and more successful resolutions when complaints are made".

FIFO Counselling 

FIFO Counselling has again been recognised for the mental health services it is providing miners on site. 
The program run is by Anthony Ward, who is the only remote onsite counsellor in Australia and the most capped mine camp manager in Australia, having managed 17 mine camps. 
It is provided in conjunction with facility management of a Pilbara iron ore mine camp and is a 24/7 onsite counselling service. A recent critical 'self harm' incident in the mining village highlighted the need to have onsite counselling services.  A prompt response with counselling aid was provided to those immediately affected by the incident.  
The outgoing crew was counselled by FIFO Counselling to be deemed fit to fly before plane would take off.  

GlencoreXstrata's Ravensworth Mine's Maths Clinic 

GlencoreXstrata's Ravensworth coal mine has been recognised for its local Free Maths Clinic by being nominated as a finalist for the Community Interaction award. The miner holds open and free Math tutoring clinics for high school students at the local Singleton Youth Centre.  Already in its second year, the program has recorded enormous success, and has more than 30 students from Year 7 to 12. The classes are taught by Ravensworth mining engineering Catherine Harrington, who taught Math while living overseas. Feedback from locals engaged in the program has been overwhelmingly positive, with one stating that "the Xstrata tutors have all been wonderful and we appreciate that they give up their time each week to help the students".

Mining Family Matters 

Mining Family Matters, the winner of the inaugural Community Interaction award, has again been recognised, this time for expanding its FIFO family reach. 
The group has released new survival guides for mining and oil and gas families. 
The guides are small, A5 booklets that feature professional advice from psychologists as well as practical tips and first hand accounts of the fly in, fly out lifestyle which are designed to help first time families adapt to the FIFO change. 
"Families in oil and gas come up against many of the same pressures as other FIFO families," Mining Family Matters creator Alicia Ranford explained.  
"But there are some unique issues, including the added pressure of longer rosters, plus limited communication from offshore rigs and remote sites," she said.  
"We urge families to focus on the positives of the job - like the extended periods together during time off and the good wages - but we also arm them with simple strategies to cope if the going gets tough."


A wholly community initiative focused on ensuring miners' safety and wellbeing after long shifts, Open4U, has been recognised for its efforts and is finalist for the Community Interaction award. 
Operating outside of Broke, the group sets up once a week, alternating Mondays and Friday to provide breakfast and a break for workers getting off long night shifts. It is designed to capture the workers getting off rotation and help fight fatigue and depression in the community. 
The local volunteers launched the OPEN4U? Breakfast about six months ago, with no funding or connection with any mines, recognising fatigue and depression was ripping holes through their tight knit community. 

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