Barrick’s partnership with the Wiradjuri people of Australia has been recognized by the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (LCMA), winning its Aboriginal Partnership Award. Percy Knight, CEO of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, noted that the Wiradjuri community has benefited from its 2003 Native Title Agreement with Barrick.
With the opening of the Wiradjuri Studies Center in September, supported by Barrick, positive programs and results will continue. The Wiradjuri see the new center as the foundation for cultural rejuvenation, social change and sustainable self-determination by the Aboriginal people of the wider Wiradjuri nation. Knight said, “The result will be a vibrant, independent, sustainable and self-determining Aboriginal community.”
“There is employment, there is cultural development, there is environmental development, and there is self-determination that is happening for us here,” he explained. “We’ve now transformed a community through the relationship with Barrick,” Knight said of the award.
The agreement has led to training and employment for the Wiradjuri, including 150 jobs, 100 skills-based traineeships and 26 university scholarships. In addition to educational initiatives, all Barrick staff and contractors are given Wiradjuri cultural appreciation training, and a cultural heritage agreement is in place.
Barrick’s Community Relations manager, Richard Savage, says the relationship is a true partnership, one that makes the best use of training, employment and business development. “As part of the Native Title Agreement with the Wiradjuri people, we have been able to provide initiatives which have led to business ventures, further education and employment for the Wiradjuri people. It’s an honor to have received this recognition from the LCMA.”
Barrick was one of 11 award winners. The LCMA annual award recognizes achievement across the Lachlan Catchment area, which covers an area of approximately 84,700 square kilometers and has a population of over 100,000 people.
“It really is a partnership, and it’s just gotten stronger over the past seven years,” says Knight.