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Joint acclaim for Indigenous advocacy champions
Two of the Queensland resource’s indigenous advocacy champions have been recognised with a joint win in the prestigious Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Indigenous Awards.

Myuma Senior Advisor Noel Gertz and Thiess Diversity Manager Penny Hamilton both took out the top spot in the ‘Indigenous Advocacy’ category.

QRC Chief Executive, and member of the judging panel, Michael Roche said the judges simply could not pick between Noel and Penny, both of whom have made an outstanding contribution to advancing the participation of indigenous people in our sector.

‘Noel Gertz has a long advocacy history and his efforts in fostering relationships has generated opportunities for hundreds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders across the state,’ Mr Roche said.

‘Equally, as Thiess’ first ever diversity advisor, Penny Hamilton has channelled her passion into a leading and multifaceted program of Indigenous participation.

‘Both Noel and Penny are proud Aboriginal people who ensure the resources sector continues to be one of the nation’s largest employers of Indigenous people.’

The QRC’s most recent data on Indigenous participation within the resources sector, reflect the efforts advocacy champions like Mr Gertz, Ms Hamilton and the other outstanding finalists.

Despite 23,000 resources jobs lost in Queensland over the past two years, the number of Indigenous employees reported by the sector increased by 20 percent last year.

QRC member companies also spent $83 million with more than 55 Indigenous business, which creates further indirect employment opportunities.

Mr Roche said that as a sector largely operating in regional and remote communities with high Indigenous populations, bridging the divide with tangible opportunity was of great priority.

‘We have a vested responsibility to spur opportunity for training, employment and local Indigenous business and I’m proud to say the sector does this well,’ he said.

‘Our annual Indigenous Awards are designed to recognise and celebrate those companies and individuals making a real difference and to inspire others to do the same.’

More than 250 people attended the awards ceremony, opened with a welcome to country by Indigenous Song woman Maroochy Barambah.

Special guests included Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt, Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fiona Simpson.
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