The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) has partnered with Lifeline to develop a peer support program that includes sexual assault and harassment modules.
Following a report released regarding the sexual harassment of female fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers, recommendations to prevent these behaviours have been announced for the mining industry.
The Resourceful Mind program is being rolled out to WA mining and resources operations, as the sector continues to make a concerted effort to battle sexual misconduct within the industry and provide safe and inclusive workplaces.
The program identifies support networks among on-site communities, ‘Minders’ as they are known in program, and provides them with the skills and capacity to have conversations with colleagues experiencing mental health challenges and if needed, the ability to guide them towards further assistance.
The sexual assault and harassment modules have been designed with input from the Sexual Assault Research Centre, as Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) manager of health, safety and people Laila Nowell spoke on,
“CME and its member companies are already undertaking a wide range of work to eliminate unacceptable behaviour and ensure all employees feel safe and respected while at work or in work-adjacent settings,” Nowell said.
“It’s really important that a trauma-informed approach is taken and the introduction of these modules recognises that people may not always be comfortable reporting incidents formally in the first instance or even at a later date, and may instead seek to have a conversation with a colleague.”
“The seminars involved in the module have been made available to all mining and resources sector companies, irrespective of whether they fall under the CME banner or are participants in Resourceful Mind peer support program.”
The Resourceful Mind Program has 270 Minders enrolled in training as of July 14, with further intakes planned in future months as the program is rolled out more widely across the resources sector.
The recent Industry Alocohol Guidelines which were released for company managed accomodation facilities, were a result of the work being done by the CME’s Safe and Respectful Behaviours (SARB) Working Group that continue to implement initiatives aimed at eliminating unacceptable behaviour from the WA mining and resources sector.
CME are reviewing the report from the Parliamentary Inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the FIFO mining industry, including the recommendations outlined within and how these might be addressed in a practical way that delivers positive outcomes and in a way that fosters safe and inclusive workplaces.
“The seminars involved in the module have been made available to all mining and resources sector companies, irrespective of whether they fall under the CME banner or are participants in Resourceful Mind peer support program,” Nowell said.
“The aim is to ensure that people who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault feel heard, supported and are aware of other forms of assistance they can access.”