Malabar Resources celebrates NAIDOC Week

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Malabar’s Land and Property Coordinator Christopher Donohue and organiser of the NAIDOC event.

Wanaruah Country in the Upper Hunter is no stranger to mining. The region represents the largest coalfield area in the state and its resources industry has been a backbone of local businesses and the community for over 200 years.

One of the Upper Hunter’s newest mines, Maxwell Underground Mine, was the site of recent NAIDOC celebrations. The mine is owned by Malabar Resources, an independent and Australian-owned resources company that recently begun exporting some of the highest quality coal in the Hunter to overseas markets after sending off its first coal train in June this year.

With plenty of food on offer and local Aboriginal dancers from Waagan Galga, Maxwell’s NAIDOC celebrations, held on July 12, saw a wide range of Malabar staff, contractors and suppliers – as well as important community groups – gather for the occasion.

Attendees included the Wanaruah Local Aboriginal Land Council, members from Maxwell’s Community Consultative Committee, local Councillors and Steve Fordham Managing Director from Blackrock and the Second Chance for Change Program.

The day provided an opportunity to have a yarn about the progress of reconciliation in Australia and reflect upon this year’s NAIDOC theme, For Our Elders.

The event also served as the unveiling of Maxwell’s newest artwork. Talented local Indigenous artist Daniel Ellis painted the masterpiece, which depicts some of Maxwell’s local surrounds, including Mount Arthur, Saddlers Creek and the totem of the local Wanaruah people, the wedge-tailed eagle. The Maxwell Mine is the centrepiece of the painting, representing “a meeting place where everyone is equal,” according to the artist.

The commissioning of the artwork complements other activities Maxwell is undertaking to promote cultural awareness on site, including the provision of indigenous hi-vis work shirts of which 10% of profits from the shirts go towards the Brungle Bush Tucker Garden & Workshops, and a further 10% is set to be reinvested in the Indyamarra Ngumbaay Aboriginal Corporation.

A new Acknowledgement of Country sign has also been installed at the main reception entrance and cultural awareness training is being developed for all staff, including senior management.

Malabar’s Executive Chairman, Wayne Seabrook, said rolling out these initiatives is an important step towards improving cultural awareness on site and represents a key moment in Maxwell’s journey as a member of the local community.

“We have been consulting closely with members from the local Indigenous community and are committed to further developing cultural awareness and building it into the culture of our site,” said Wayne.

“We recognise how important connection to local culture is for our company and we look forward to continuing to develop these initiatives well into the future.”

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