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New Zealand Branch Sustainable Careers

New Zealand Branch
· 600 words, 3 minute read

In November 2020, at the GSNZ Conference in Christchurch, the NZ Branch launched a career roadshow.

The roadshow took place over March-April this year. It involved recording perspectives on our sustainability in the minerals industry from 12 young professionals. The resultant videos reached 170 students and around 30 faculty across seven universities, mainly from the Earth and Environmental Sciences and Engineering schools.

The videos can be seen and enjoyed on your smart phone by simply scanning this QR code.

NZ QR Code - Sustainable Careers.png

If you want an overview of this initiative, read on...

The young professionals used in the videos talked to our key messages about enabling a sustainable future:

  • For diverse and rewarding careers
  • Recognising that minerals are essential to a sustainable future
  • Enabling the transition to a low-carbon economy, and
  • Applying top talent across multiple disciplines

The driving principle was that the minerals industry in New Zealand, in fact globally, provides (unrecognised) social value. The fact that minerals underpin modern society and our lifestyles is seldom acknowledged. They are required for a low-carbon future, to maintain our living standards and the infrastructure for the planet’s growing population. In short, they are essential to a sustainable future, but we need to meet new community expectations and environmental standards.

Today, the minerals industry faces intense scrutiny from consumers and affected communities who want transparent ethical supply chains, exemplary environmental standards, and a low-carbon footprint. But, to quote Ernst and Young’s 2020 mining and metals survey, mining has a tarnished brand. This is turning off our future professional talent – University students – needed to support the future of our industry. To help combat this situation, the AusIMM has planned a long-term engagement with universities to move the conversation and to help reconnect the talent pipeline.

The careers roadshow consisted of a series of talks based on the eleven short videos, interspersed with the case for responsible minerals extraction, the need for new talent, and pathways to a rewarding career. The hope is that students will objectively evaluate their career choices and be motivated to join the minerals sector knowing they can make a bigger difference to the planet from the inside industry.

This initiative was supported by seven exploration, mining, and minerals resources companies (OceanaGold, Bathurst Resources, Advent Gold, Fulton Hogan, Ravensdown, RSC, and Seequent) and facilitated by seven universities (Auckland, Waikato, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury, Ara, and Otago).

The NZ Branch extends a big thanks to the young professionals who made this possible: Lauren Farmer of Advent Gold, Stephanie Hayton and Rebecca Hillyard of OceanaGold, Conor Moynihan and Tennille Hancock of Bathurst Resources, Joseph Kinsler and Nick Hornblow of Fulton Hogan, Lauren Kensington and Ethan Meder of Ravensdown, Stephie Tay of RSC, and Andrew McLoughlin and Callum OBrien of Seequent.

Michael Gazley of RSC, Mike Stewart of Seequent, and Paul Weber of Mine Waste Management hosted the roadshow talks.

A new era of AusIMM-industry-university relations is being nurtured to ensure that students get the information they need to make informed career choices. Themes for future roadshows such as social value, climate change, and diversity and inclusion, are proposed to maintain the engagement with our future workforce and the Tertiary institutions where they learn. Given the need for other professions needed to support today’s mining industry, we hope to reach beyond the traditional disciplines in future engagements.

It is vital that this engagement is continued. We need to build support and resources around the NZ Branch and the initiative by strengthening partnerships and improving communication between the various stakeholders - universities, AusIMM, industry, and regulators.

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