Two Indigenous women stand smiling in high-vis shirts. One is holding a piece of vegetation.

Creating employment outcomes for the Tjiwarl people

When a Comprehensive Agreement between BHP’s Nickel West asset in Western Australia and the Traditional Owners of the land was signed in 2018, it established a framework for creating tangible employment and enterprise outcomes for the local Tjiwarl people.  

This wide-ranging native title agreement was influenced heavily by the community’s ambitions and priorities in areas including culture, land management, business development, education and employment, laying the foundation for generational change and future collaboration.  

Now, more than 50 Tjiwarl Traditional Owners have completed an eight-week Work Readiness program, securing a Certificate II Resource Infrastructure and Work Preparation and a pathway into the resources industry.  

The trainees have joined the BHP team in roles across Leinster and Mt Keith, giving them opportunities to work on Country, gain full-time employment and be supported every step of the way. 

Nickel West are also actively helping to identify and propagate business opportunities for Tjiwarl people, with a view to sustaining business engagement over the life of our operations. 

Other core aspirations of the Agreement include fostering ongoing cooperation across the life of the project to maintain connection and harmonisation of cultural land values and mining outcomes, and the development of cultural awareness training focused on local Indigenous culture, traditions and values for BHP personnel. 

Through the demonstrated success of the Nickel West Tjiwarl Work Readiness Program and continued support of Tjiwarl enterprise interests, Nickel West and Tjiwarl Traditional owners are collaborating to transform and create opportunities for current and future Tjiwarl people. 

It’s a blueprint for future native title agreements across BHP, especially for what can be achieved when we jointly commit to trust and transparency in long-term mutually beneficial partnerships to achieve true social value for Indigenous peoples.