Kimberley Indigenous training program delivers success

  • Ellendale Bunuba Trainee Program delivers first national qualifications
  • New Indigenous apprenticeships created
  • Program to help rehabilitate the abandoned Ellendale diamond mine

An Indigenous training scheme that forms part of the Cook Government’s plan to rehabilitate the former Ellendale diamond mining lease in the Kimberley has delivered its first nationally recognised qualifications.

Eleven indigenous participants of the Ellendale Bunuba Trainee Program have received a combined 21 National Certificates of Attainment for a range of heavy vehicle skills. Eight of the participants are from the Kimberley and five are Bunuba people.

The certificates cover the safe operation of equipment such as articulated haul trucks, bull dozers, front-end loaders and excavators.

The contract for earthworks at Ellendale was awarded through an open tender process to Aboriginal mine rehabilitation company, Buru Rehab. Under the contract, the business was required to develop and run an Indigenous training program for local Aboriginal people.

In addition to the national certification, Buru Rehab has partnered with local mechanical service providers to employ three Indigenous heavy diesel fitter apprentices. The apprentices will all be from the local area, with one position guaranteed for a Bunuba person.

The training program and the new heavy diesel fitter apprenticeships provide meaningful employment pathways through on-country initiatives that are delivered by local Indigenous trainers and mentors.

Ellendale was declared an abandoned mine in December 2015. The Cook Government is funding the project’s ongoing landform stabilisation through its Mine Rehabilitation Fund.

The Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has been working towards making the site safe for incoming tenement holders and anyone who may access the area.

For more information on the Ellendale site, visit:

As stated by Mines and Petroleum Minister David Michael:

“Congratulations to the successful trainees and Buru Rehab for the outstanding job they are doing at the Ellendale mining lease.

“Creating regional jobs is a Cook Government priority and initiatives like the Ellendale Bunuba Trainee Program provide excellent employment outcomes for local communities.

“The Cook Government remains focused on mine rehabilitation and we are committed to building asustainable mining sector that balances economic opportunity with robust environmental protection.”

As stated by Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:

“This Cook Government initiative represents a trio of wins for the trainees involved, the local economy and the environment.

“Training that leads to genuine skills and recognised qualifications means ongoing job opportunities for trainees and ultimately economic empowerment for local Indigenous communities.”

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