Future of Mining in Smart Hands

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YAC members visited Komatsu’s Innovation Hub and BMA’s Integrated Remote Operations Centre.

Students from Smart Transformation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) have completed the educational trip of a lifetime to Brisbane, seeing into the future and their own career opportunities.

The YAC members enjoyed a four-day tour of the Queensland capital, funded by BMA, participating in a mix of work and play that ensured there was something for everyone.

The excursion is an annual highlight of the Youth Advisory Council to support Smart Transformation, the community-led program working towards a more sustainable future for the townships of Dysart and Moranbah.

Moranbah High School Year 9 student Molly Johnstone, 14, said the trip made her think about what jobs she might be interested in, in the future.

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YAC members attended the Tertiary Studies Expo in Brisbane.

“I found the BMA Integrated Remote Operations Centre (IROC) in Brisbane really incredible,” Molly said.

“It was very good to see all of the places we went, but IROC was amazing to see details of all the mines near where we live,” she said.

“It made me think I’d like to do a Uni course, and maybe even two degrees – one of them definitely in technology. Even for an apprenticeship now, you need to know about technology.”

Teacher and YAC Coordinator at Moranbah High School Rebecca Huggett said everyone got a lot out of the trip.

“There were so many advantages for the kids and teachers by being a part of that trip to Brisbane, it was fantastic,” Rebecca said.

“It was an opportunity for the students to learn to network, not only with each other, but with people whose jobs rely on technology a lot more than they used to.

“I think it’s made quite a few of our students rethink their subject choices and decide that it’s actually a really good idea to take on some technology subjects.”

Students also talked to BHP/BMA staff about their changing roles.

“We heard from different BHP/BMA staff about careers and the way jobs are changing with technology. We toured a warehouse and looked at some incredible automated technology that’s used every day,” Rebecca said.

“We also heard from a PhD student at the Queensland Museum who was really passionate about the way he uses technology in his research. He showed us how quickly advancements and discoveries can be shared with other scientists around the world. It’s all happening much faster, and that was great for our students to see.

“The YAC students are such a great bunch of kids. They mixed well between the two high schools and made new friends.”

Dysart High Year 12 student Morris Suliana, 17, said seeing the new technologies affecting the mining industry was interesting.

“The best thing about it was it gave us a lot of exposure to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and how automation is going to affect jobs in the future,” Morris said.

“My favourite parts were seeing the Komatsu Innovation Hub and the BMA Integrated Remote Operations Centre.”

Morris hopes for an electrical apprenticeship after school but said the trip to Brisbane made him realise how many different opportunities are available.

“I still want to be an electrician, but now I’m seeing it through different eyes. The way technology is going to change even being an electrician is incredible. There will be more and more demand for electricians with the way technology is going. Even truck drivers are going to have to upskill!” he said.

“It’s a bit scary because everything is changing all the time. But it’s very exciting as well because there are lots of opportunities for everyone.”

For more information, check out the Smart Transformation website: www.smarttransformation.com.au

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