13 December 2007

In 2008, for the first time, The University of Queensland will offer a postgraduate program aimed at improving the skills of community relations professionals in the minerals industry.

Offered in partnership with the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the Graduate Certificate in Community Relations will take one year to complete on a part-time basis.

Director of Studies for the Social and Behavioural Sciences Faculty, Associate Professor Julie Duck, said the program was developed in response to industry demand and increasing expectations about the industry’s social performance.

“The Faculty is delighted to be collaborating with the Sustainable Minerals Institute and the MCA in offering a new Graduate Certificate tailored to the needs of community relations practitioners in the resources sector,” Dr Duck said.

“We recognise the need for the professionalisation of community relations practitioners working in mining and related industries, and the need for an enhanced focus on corporate social responsibility.

“Community relations are integral to such industries and contribute to the overall wellbeing of the communities in which the industry operates.”

While the industry is already equipped with well-qualified professionals in areas such as engineering and geology, the Graduate Certificate will address the need for an appropriate academic program in Community Relations.

“The program will support the professionalisation of community relations practitioners and enable the mining industry to work more collaboratively with local communities,” Dr Duck said.

The Graduate Certificate will offer three core courses aimed specifically at the resources sector:

• Community Development for the Mining Industry
• Community Engagement for the Mining Industry
• Community Aspects in Mineral Resource Development

An elective course, Mining Projects and Indigenous Peoples, is being offered through the Australian National University.

The program is primarily aimed at those with relevant work experience in community relations roles within the minerals industry.

Potential students can apply through the Sustainable Minerals Institute or the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Further Information: Robin Evans, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, r.evans@smi.uq.edu.au, 07 3346 4009 or Penny Robinson at UQ Communications 07 3365 9723, penny.robinson@uq.edu.au

To apply contact Phil Clark, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, p.clark@smi.uq.edu.au, 07 3365 4007