New Kestrel Mine worker Garrett Malone.
New Kestrel Mine worker Garrett Malone. Contributed

Job turns dream into reality

A JOB in the mining industry was once a dream for Garrett Malone - now it's a reality.

The 26-year-old recently began work at Rio Tinto's Kestrel Mine as part of its indigenous training and skills development opportunities.

Mr Malone was one of seven new trainees and an apprentice to join the site's existing indigenous workforce, which has grown from four to 20 since January.

The Western Kangoulu traditional owner will work as a warehouse trainee for two years at the Emerald mine.

"I'd been looking for an opportunity to get into the mining industry so when I heard about the traineeships I decided to go for it," Mr Malone said.

"My role involves taking orders for new stock ... and delivering them to the right departments on site.

The former Blackwater man said he had already developed a new range of skills, including operating forklifts and learning about computer programs.

"I look forward to what the future holds at the end when I have this qualification under my belt," Mr Malone said.

Western Kangoulu spokesman Patrick Malone said that the program was offered as part of Kestrel Mine's agreement with the Western Kangoulu traditional owners.

"We're very pleased to see these career pathways offered to indigenous people, including members of our own mob," Mr Malone said.

Kestrel Mine general manager of operations John Coughlan said the growth in indigenous employment also contributed to Rio Tinto's Reconciliation Action Plan target of 5% indigenous employment at Kestrel Mine and across all Rio Tinto Coal Australia's operations.



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