In what it says is an Australian first, the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) has welcomed the Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA) as its First Nations Partner.
The partnership will foster stronger connections between First Nations communities and the minerals and resources sector, as well as continue to raise the profile of First Nations people working in the industry globally, IMARC says.
IMARC, which is due to take place in Melbourne, both in-person and online from October 25-27, is partnering with IWIMRA to promote the importance of inclusiveness of First Nation women and men in the industry and the IMARC program, it said.
IWIMRA was founded in 2017 to create a stronger connection amongst Indigenous women in Australia’s mining and resource sector. Through lived experiences, and the narrative of Indigenous intersectionality, it is its priority to ensure the visibility, voice, and quality participation across the spectrum of the mining and minerals sector, the IWIMRA says.
IMARC takes place on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin nations. IMARC says it wishes to acknowledge them as the traditional owners of the lands and waterways and pay their respects to their elders, past and present, and emerging.
As the first resources event in Australia to have a First Nations Partner, IMARC Managing Director, Anita Richards, said that IMARC is committed to improving Indigenous presence at the event and across broader industry.
“This partnership enhances our commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion across all areas of the mining and resources industry as part of our Balance for Better Program where diversity and inclusion are a key focus of the conference and associated events,” Richards said.
She said that IMARC will also highlight the impact and achievements of women in mining while reflecting the strides being made industry-wide to be more gender balanced and showcase the industry-wide benefits of diversity and inclusion.
In practical terms, the partnership between IMARC and IWIMRA will see additional Indigenous speakers and dedicated sessions across the conference program, additional Indigenous women delegates in attendance at the event as well as including an “exciting welcome” to country at the start of the conference, IMARC said.
“This is just the first of what we see as many opportunities to partner with IWIMRA as our values and objectives are very much aligned,” Richards said.
IWIMRA Co-Founder and CEO, Florence Drummond (pictured), said that the partnership with IMARC is a great fit, as IWIMRA aspires to lead with clarity and purpose and to work with industry to build solutions-driven, cross-culture influential relationships that will continue to contribute towards our sustainable future.
“We are so excited to be formalising this partnership with IMARC and it’s only now that we are starting to recognise how truly impactful it will be,” Drummond said. “There are the obvious benefits of participating at IMARC, such as IWIMRA having a physical presence with an exhibition booth, hosting panel sessions and speaking as part of the conference, however there is so much more to be gained beyond the transaction.
“This partnership, which has been progressing over the past three years, is truly transformational for IWIMRA. It means that we have action and commitment from a major global resources conference and that we have recognition, reconciliation and a real seat at the table.”
IWIMRA will be bringing 30 women from mining operations across Australia to IMARC to provide them with the kind of global mining exposure that will enable them to return to their own sites and continue to influence meaningful changes.
“From our history of compounded disadvantage and continued systemic challenges, it is understandable that many of our people are fatigued and frustrated at yet another mechanism for change,” Drummond said. “However, we have worked hard to agree on what shared value is in this context and to deliver this significant opportunity for all stakeholders. Based on trust, we plan for our 30 delegates to be a part of the conversation and to ask the hard questions so that they can be the spark or the catalyst for change back in their home communities. It is our priority to ensure this is a safe space for this.”
Drummond will further discuss this First Nations Partnership on Day 2 of IMARC, as part of the plenary conference program, before later interviewing the Development Partner Institute’s Executive Director, Wendy Tyrrell, about Indigenous engagement and how the industry can better attune with indigenous participation across the supply chain.
The day will conclude with an all IWIMRA line up within the METS Arena for a panel discussion on ‘The intersectionality of Indigenous women in the mining and resources sector, further explore our perspective of where we fit in a decarbonising industry’ before the AusIMM Diversity & Inclusion Networking Reception, where all 30 women will be in attendance to meet with attendees at the event.
International Mining is a media partner of IMARC