The Queensland Resources Council has announced Multhana Property Services founder Joseph Wallace as 2022’s Indigenous advocacy award winner.

The award celebrates leading Indigenous participation practice in the Queensland resources sector.

Mr Wallace said he was pleased to see Queensland’s resources industry was “fair dinkum” when it came to giving Indigenous businesses opportunities.

“It’s really good to see the resource sector employing and giving Indigenous opportunities in that sector, which is really good, and it sort of opened up my eyes because it’s the first year we nominated and we got we got awarded,” he said.

“A lot of anonymous people came up and congratulated me, and just to hear them talk about how they take pride in their Indigenous workforce, procurement and giving Indigenous people opportunity,”

“You don’t see that in the government… I was in government for thirty years and you don’t see a lot of that, it’s all about bureaucracy.”

Being an Aboriginal owned company, Mr Wallace said Multhana felt responsibility to do more for his community.

That responsibility includes giving mob a leg up with jobs and sports participation, something Mr Wallace said he did not want to see people miss out on due to lack of money.

“It’s about building capacity and giving more level entry jobs, like cleaning and landscaping,” he said.

“Give people seeking opportunities, and people that have been long term unemployed and mature workers and also school leavers too.

“We like to look at the ripple effect of what the business does, from community, employment, training, sponsorship you know giving back to our mob on the ground.”

Mr Wallace, an avid sports fan himself, sponsors several teams and events through Multhana, and buys products from Indigenous businesses such as Abco.

He said a new cleaning contract with ACCIONA for the Brisbane Metro would provide more employment opportunities.

QRC Indigenous Award winners:

  • Exceptional Indigenous Person in Queensland Resources was awarded to Moranbah-based Mining Supervisor Nicole Shibasaki, a Wulli Wulli woman and the first Indigenous female supervisor at the Caval Ridge metallurgical coal mine for Thiess.
  • A joint winner for Indigenous Rising Star in Queensland Resources was given to Townsville Diesel Fitter William Matters from the Torres Strait Islands and Emergency Services Officer Zharni Crossley from Weipa, from the Wik clan group Winchanam from Aurukun
  • Exceptional Indigenous – Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Student was awarded to Dustan Baggow, a proud Yuwibara woman and a Year 12 student and the Community Engagement Captain at Moranbah State High School.
  • Best Company Indigenous Employment and Training Initiative in Queensland Resources award category for 2022 is Rio Tinto for their Local Aboriginal People (LAP).
  • MOEC, a piping and civil construction contractor, won the Exceptional Indigenous Business in Queensland Resources award for delivering services to the resources sector both in Queensland and nationally.
  • Story by Rachel Stringfellow