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GFA's Carter opens GIG networking event in Perth - Gold Industry Group

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

The Gold Industry Group (GIG) hosted its fifth annual networking event on Thursday 27 May at The Perth Mint, reconnecting more than 100 members amongst the glimmering displays of The Perth Mint's gold exhibition and melt house to share the impact of its latest activities.

Newly appointed GIG Chair and Gold Fields Vice President of Legal and Compliance Kelly Carter opened the evening by acknowledging the start of National Reconciliation Week and welcoming Olman Walley who delivered the Welcome to Country with a captivating digeridoo performance.

Ms Carter highlighted the GIG's sixth year of operation and its role in championing Australia's gold industry, which continues to grow and connect with Australians through its long-term initiatives.

"Our programs, partnerships, communications and events are influencing perceptions and creating a supportive, educated community. Last year saw our efforts reach more than 55 million," said Ms Carter.

She credited members for their contribution to new initiatives centered around education and developing talent pathways to support the future industry workforce including the national Gold Jobs website which has attracted more than 150,000 visitors, the National Gold Education Program which has reached more than 770 schools across Australia, and new partnership with AusEarthEd.

"I am proud of what we have achieved with our members through these new programs to date and the feedback we have received from the community has been incredible."

Ms Carter added that long-term strategic partnerships with Netball WA, West Coast Fever and Shooting Stars magnify reach and engagement with the community and invited the guests to watch on screen a video of the West Coast Fever's 2nd preseason tour of the Goldfields in March.

She then acknowledged Livin, another long-term GIG partner that delivers relatable mental health workshops and the huge impact it has made on the lives of the workforce and the wider community.

"Tonight, I am delighted to announce we will be embarking on our next national tour with Livin that will see up to 100 mental health workshops delivered in schools in the regions our members operate in the second half of this year," said Ms Carter.

The Minister for Mines and Petroleum Honourable Bill Johnston MLA provided an address before joining Ms Carter on stage for a Q&A starting with his focus on the development of the gold sector.

"What I'm interested to hear is how skills challenges are affecting the industry. Minister Sue Ellery will be holding a skills summit very soon and we want to make sure that we are responding to the issues of skills that have been raised with us.

"The other element is the exploration side. As part of our Digital Transformation strategy, we are going to digitise all the analogue data to effectively triple the amount of publicly available geophysical information available to the sector.

"The aim is to have that available so that AI and machine learning apply that data so that people can more carefully target their exploration opportunities," said Minister Johnston.

Minister Johnston said he enjoys going to mine sites after being asked by Ms Carter what his most memorable site visit was.

"What I'm really impressed with in every mine I go to in Western Australia is the innovation that is used to get the resource out of the ground. The reason we're successful is not because we're good at digging holes, we're good at it because we apply technology to solve the problems and I'm always pleased to see that," Minister Johnston said.

When asked what the biggest challenge is for the gold industry right now, Minister Johnston noted that people are raising the question of skills.

"We can't control every element of that and of course the industry has its own responsibilities, but we want to partner with industry to make sure that we have got a pipeline of skilled workers.

"We've got a STEM strategy for our schools that starts in primary school, because you can't have engineering graduates unless they're qualified in high school, they can't qualify in high school if they don't have that STEM start in primary school. We understand that that's our responsibility and we're trying to do that," said Minister Johnston.

Ms Carter raised GIG's support at the upcoming Resources Technology Showcase (RTS) which to the Minister's point highlights the role that innovation and technology play in driving the industry.

"We're very excited to be representing the gold industry at RTS. We will have an interactive display over three days that will hopefully see about 10 000 students, teachers, and community members attend.

"As part of our education series we'll also be taking 32 Year 10 students from Woodvale College for a trip of a lifetime to Northern Star Resources' Super Pit, so stay tuned for that," said Ms Carter.

"Educating the next generation is a core focus for the Gold Industry Group. Through our National Gold Education Program, Gold Jobs initiative, Heart of Gold Australia app, and strategic partnerships we are inspiring the next generation of industry leaders," she added.

Ms Carter explained the far-reaching impact of the National Gold Education Program would not be possible without the passionate employees that dedicate their time to delivering Gold Class Sessions to primary and secondary students in Western Australia and now Victoria, and recognised this contribution with the first Gold Class Awards to conclude the evening.

With Minister Johnston handing the awards, Gold Class Awards recipients were facilitators Samantha Ware and Alexandra Forster from Bellevue Gold Limited, Steven Hulme from Gold Road Resources and Annika Turnbull from Gold Fields.

Achieving the highest number of active facilitators and the most sessions delivered by a company, Gold Fields received the award for Company of the Year having seven employees deliver eight sessions in 2020.

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