Prospect Awards Finalists 2014: Community Interaction of the Year

There are five companies in the running to take home the Community Interaction of the Year award.

Glencore's Agricultral scholarship

Glencore has been recognised for the Community Interaction award for its work in helping young farming students.

Glencore has partnered with Queensland's Emerald Agricultural College to help develop a new generation of farmers. The new partnership is designed to support the college's Australian Primary Industries Production Program (APIP) through scholarships.

Glencore will provide five scholarships valued at $10 000 each to students starting the two year APIP program for the agricultural college's 2015 intake.

The miner will also provide two $5000 Glencore Prizes for Excellence for high ranking students "to undertake international study tours at the end of their two year diploma in agriculture/cropping and animal production/animal industries", the miner said.

Glencore's community relations manager Craig Strudwick explained the partnership is part of the miner's "commitment to make positive impacts in areas where Glencore's coal mines operate".

"This partnership is another important step towards ensuring that our mining operations successfully co-exist with other land users."

Heart of Gold campaign

For its unique initiative in highlighting the positive social and economic contribution made by the WA gold industry, the #heartofgold campaign has been nominated for the Community Interaction award.

The Heart of Gold campaign is a positive information campaign which details the quantifiable economic and tangible social contributions made by the sector.

It also highlights the challenges confronting gold producers and encourages individuals and communities to show their support for the industry.

It aims to engage the gold mining industry and encourage public debate on key messages in the industry. 

The success of the campaign has hinged upon the engagement of the very communities who would be affected by any change in gold royalties – with startling results; more than 250 000 people have been exposed to the key messages on Facebook.

It is a blueprint for future stakeholder engagement within the mining sector.

Miners' Promise

For its efforts towards reducing the number of work place related fatalities and serious injuries in the mining industry Miners' Promise has been nominated for the Community Interaction award.

The group was established in 2010 to support miners and their families in the event of illness, injury, or death.

Miners' Promise also acts as an advocacy group for those in the industry requiring financial, legal, or professional support.

The not-for-profit organisation regularly visits mine sites to speak with key personnel on site and helps to review incidents, as well as outline the ripple effect that occurs throughout a site and the community following an incident. 

It also has close ties with the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum, and is able to provide a direct conduit between the parties to share information and develop strategies from lessons learned following the conclusions of incidents, in order to prevent future incidents. 

The group is now going national.

Northparkes mine – Volunteer program

For its innovative Volunteer Leave Program China Molybdenum's Northparkes mine has been nominated for the Community Interaction award. 

Since the program started in 2013 around 130 employees have given their time to volunteer for a variety of community groups, schools, and organisations across 20 projects.

The program provides skilled labour to the community to work on projects on the company time, and allows Northparkes employees two working days each year to volunteer, and if employees volunteer they receive time-in-lieu. 

"Through the skills our workforce can offer the community we have been able to make a different type of contribution to our community that complements our existing funding programs but provides the community with a different type of support," Northparkes stated.

The project is so significant it is now one of the business' 21 targets for 2014.

NSW Minerals Council – Voice for Mining

The NSW Minerals Council has been nominated for the Community Interaction award for its Voice for Mining campaign.

The mining lobby group has joined with the Hunter Valley football team the Newcastle Knights to show the strong support for the region's coal mining industry.

This campaign culminated in the Voice for Mining Family Day, which demonstrated the wellspring of support for the industry, and gave those behind the mining sector a chance to make their voices heard and show decision makers the backing of the community for mining.

The campaign has seen the delivery of the message 'keep mining strong', and helped to reach new audiences online and through social media, and provided continued recognition for the importance of mining to the NSW Government.

Part of the program included telling the story of players who are now miners – Bill Peden and Steve Simpson, as well as Knights club captain Kurt Gidley, whose father has been driving mining trains for years.

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