15 November 2008

Aboriginal Fund launched in Clermont

A new fund to provide business, education and training opportunities has been launched to benefit a Central Queensland Aboriginal group.

Rio Tinto will provide $500,000 a year in funding for the Clermont Aboriginal Community Development Fund, which will provide funding support for the Wangan & Jagalingou people.

The fund arises out of a historic land use agreement, securing economic and social wins for the communities and enable mining within traditional land areas.

The Aboriginal community is adjacent to Rio Tinto's Blair Athol and Clermont mines.

The fund will support projects that work towards providing the Aboriginal community opportunities in business development, education and training initiatives or community development.

The fund's committee consists of two members appointed by Wangan & Jagalingou, two members appointed by Rio Tinto and two members nominated to represent the interests of the broader Clermont Aboriginal Community.

The fund was officially launched at a function at Pioneer Park Saturday 15 November.

The Clermont Aboriginal Community Development Fund will secure economic and social wins for the Aboriginal Community of Interest.

Andrew Cole, general manager operations Blair Athol Mine said: "The Fund will support projects and opportunities that have positive, constructive and real outcomes for the local Aboriginal community."

"The Fund will consider applications for funding that are designed to build capacity over the long term within our local Aboriginal communities.

"Our mines will work with the communities to identify what they see is important for their future, and then consider programmes that will enable them to build capacity."

Following the launch in Clermont, the Fund will present information sessions for Wangan & Jagalingou people living in the Cherbourg and Rockhampton region.

A Funding Guidelines booklet on making applications to the Fund is being made available to those attending the launch and information sessions.

For more information on the Fund or a copy of the Guidelines please contact Debbie Alvoen, Executive Officer, Clermont Aboriginal Community Development Fund, on 0418711827 or email:clermont.acdf@riotinto.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Nathan Scholz 0417 613 174

Media release - Aboriginal Fund launched in Clermont [PDF: 15 KB]