24/08/2021 – Event / Mining / IMARC / Australia / First Nations / Indigenous / Women
An Australian first – IMARC mining event welcomes First Nations partner
In an Australian first, the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) has announced the Indigenous Women in Mining and Resources Australia (IWIMRA) as its First Nations Partner when the event returns in October.
The new 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, Australia’s largest mining event – due to take place in Melbourne, both in-person and online, from 25–27 October – said it was delighted to be partnering with IWIMRA to promote the importance of inclusiveness of First Nation women and men in the industry and the IMARC programme.
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 their priority to ensure the visibility, voice, and quality participation across the spectrum of the mining and minerals sector.
The International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) takes place on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin nations. IMARC wishes to acknowledge them as the traditional owners of the lands and waterways, and to pay respect to their elders – past, present and emerging alike.
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,” Ms. Richards said.
IMARC’s Managing Director said the upcoming event would also highlight the impact and achievements of women in mining, while also 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 agenda, additional Indigenous women delegates in attendance at the event as well as including an exciting welcome to country at the start of the conference.
“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,” Ms Richards said.
Building cross-culture influential relationships
IWIMRA Co-Founder and CEO, Florence Drummond 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 a 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,” Ms 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 speeches as part of the conference – however, there is so much more to be gained beyond the transaction,” she continued.
“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,” she added.
IWIMRA will be bringing 30 women from mining operations across Australia to IMARC to provide them with the kind of global exposure to the mining industry 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,” Ms 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,”
IWIMRA recognises that IMARC has long been a supporter of their initiatives, and said that reaching this point, which is truly groundbreaking, is based on the trust and relationships built with the IMARC team.
“Going forward, we can really see this partnership growing with IMARC, and know that it will influence other global industry events to consider similar partnerships. This is the action of meaningful engagement in this context,” Ms Drummond said.
In keeping with IMARC’s values, IWIMRA has a strong commitment to sustainable practices. However, Ms Drummond was keen to emphasise that the Indigenous engagement aspect of sustainability in mining is still paramount.
“Even in driving sustainable mining and green energy practices, investing in long-term relationships with Indigenous stakeholders will continue to be a fundamental requirement to projects,” she advised. “It’s a simple process of building relationships, and building trust, and that’s what we’ve achieved here in this partnership with IMARC.”
Florence Drummond will further discuss this First Nations Partnership on Day 2 of IMARC, as part of the plenary conference programme before later interviewing the Development Partner Institute’s Executive Director Wendy Tyrrell about Indigenous engagement and how we 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 exploring 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.