Surge in school girls attend mining camp

Students attending the Girls' Focus on Mining Camp in the Goldfields. Image: Curtin University.

Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines is hosting a record number of secondary school aged girls at the annual Girls’ Focus on Mining Camp in the Goldfields this week.

More than twice the number of previous attendees will attend this year, with 48 girls from schools across Perth and regional Western Australia signed up to have a first-hand introduction to the mining industry.

The camp, which is supported by Saracen Mineral Holdings, aims to inspire young women to pursue careers in the mining industry, showcasing job and study opportunities.

Over a five-day period, the girls will visit venues including Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines’ Super Pit, BHP Nickel West’s smelter, Kanowna Belle gold mine and the Museum of the Goldfields.

They will also get a taste of university life, engaging in a range of activities on campus and in the community, while staying at the Western Australian School of Mines Kalgoorlie accommodation, Agricola.

Due to the high demand for the 2021 Girls’ Focus on Mining camp, a further 24 high school aged female students will attend a day trip to a mine site and refinery at Boddington in Western Australia’s South West this week.

The Western Australian School of Mines has further camps for school students planned throughout the year for both boys and girls.

Attracting and maintaining women to roles in the mining industry is a key priority of industry body the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM), as it commits to a create a more diverse mining sector.

As AusIMM found in its Women in Mining Survey 2020, which heard the voices of 700 female participants, 62 per cent of respondents indicated the industry was not diverse, up 5 per cent from 2019.

The survey also found that diversity and inclusion was eight times more likely to be a priority for women in mining in comparison with their male counterparts.

“The numbers make it very clear that there are still areas of our industry requiring greater attention and one of these is the experiences of women,” AusIMM chief executive officer Stephen Durkin said.

“AusIMM recognises this priority as the peak body for resources professionals and are deeply committed to playing a strong leadership role to help create meaningful change.”

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