Australia’s world-leading expertise in small-scale mining is being showcased to 30 emerging leaders from the African mining sector as they visit the Gladstone and Emerald regions in Central Queensland.
The group is completing a four-week Australia Awards Short Course at The University of Queensland, to help them capitalise on economic development opportunities and tackle social and environmental sustainability.
The Australia Awards short course is delivered by UQ’s International Development team and Sustainable Minerals Institute(SMI).
Course leader, Lynda Lawson, said small-scale mining provided a vital livelihood for many people across the globe including many women.
“The challenge is to leverage better economic development outcomes for those involved in extraction and to improve occupational health and safety and mined land rehabilitation.”
Ms Lawson said the opportunity to spend a week in the mining regions was at the heart of the course.
“The group will visit mines and quarries, businesses, gemstone entrepreneurs, and local and state government offices in the Central Queensland. UQ will also showcase Queensland’s entrepreneurial flair with minerals, especially our coloured sandstones and precious sapphires.”
Consultant and former Central Highlands Regional Council Community Planning and Engagement Manager, Janice Moriarty is playing a key role in creating linkages between the group and the region’s mining sector.
“It is always a pleasure to have people visiting our region to exchange ideas and create opportunities for further partnerships between Australia and Africa,” Ms Moriarty said.
“More importantly, it is great to see Gladstone, Emerald, Gemfields, Clermont and other communities warmly welcome our visitors and share in the cultural experiences they graciously bring to our region.”
A strong focus, for participants, is designing and delivering a workplace project that will transfer newly acquired knowledge when they return home. The training in Australia will be followed by a field trip to mining regions of Ghana.
The Australia Awards are funded by the Australian Government and offer emerging global leaders study, research and professional development opportunities in Australia, and high-achieving Australians similar experiences overseas.