Respect at work program set to become part of national mine training system

 Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces program to be delivered Australia-wide

The Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA) will work to finalise an Australian-first learning program aimed at eliminating disrespectful behaviour in the resources industry following the delivery of a pilot program in Perth.

The learning program, Building Safe and Respectful Workplaces, was designed by AUSMESA in partnership with Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue, and aims to be delivered across Australia from early next year.

More than 30 mining employees have now taken part in the pilot program which was delivered in Perth by experienced facilitators from AUSMESA partner Griffith University from Queensland.

AUSMESA Chief Executive, Dr Gavin Lind, said the program’s goal was to reach workers at all mining companies large and small and across the country.

““The results of the pilot will be fully evaluated by AUSMESA and feedback from the participants will be used to guide AUSMESA to finalise the learning program,” Dr Lind said.

“This is a high-impact and innovative social awareness learning program on contemporary understandings and cultural views on sexual harassment, bullying, racism, and impacts in the workplace and will set standards of behaviour that employers are legally obligated to ensure.”

AUMESA Chairperson Nicky Firth said learners completing the program would develop knowledge and understanding and become an integral part of the solution to address issues in the sector.

“Knowledge and understanding would include the benefits of diverse, safe and respectful workplaces, and why they matter; of what sexual harassment, bullying and racism look and feel like in the workplace and their impacts; contemporary understanding and awareness of a First Nations and intersectional perspective on sexual harassment, bullying and racism in the workplace; and leading practice in prevention and response including the skills to support bystander action.”

Dr Lind said AUSMESA was committed to providing training for every mining employee in Australia in response to widespread reports of unacceptable sexual harassment in the industry.

“It is our role as an Australian Government-funded industry-led organisation to ensure quality and efficiency in training and workforce development for the resources sector, and training in this area is critical to improving workplace culture and addressing skills shortages,” Dr Lind said.

“It is anticipated the training course will be made available to other industries in the future through a range of education pathways, including Vocational Education and Training, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and universities.”

  • AUMSESA CEO Dr Gavin Lind is available for interview and is based in Melbourne, Victoria
  • AUSMESA Chairperson Nicky Firth is available for interview and is based in Perth, WA


Media Contact

Jane Grljusich, AUSMESA Manager Communications & Partnerships
Phone: 0499 605 121