Melita Hegarty, Community Engagement and First Nations Participation Advisor
Melita Hegarty is committed to making the world a more diverse and inclusive place. Being a First Nations woman from Australia herself, she has the perfect background to help First Nations people thrive and increase respect in society.
When Melita Hegarty was first approached by an employment agency about a job at Sandvik Mining and Rock solutions she was first reluctant.
“I said ‘absolutely not, I’m not working for a mining organization’, says Melita Hegarty. “But then I learned that Sandvik sells mining equipment and is not a mining company, and I saw all the work we are doing in relation to sustainability and community. It made me change my mind and now I absolutely love working for Sandvik".
Melita Hegarty has two key functions to her role. One is related to community initiatives in Australia and New Zealand, such as sponsoring mining emergency competitions, local engineering and science challenges or sports teams. On the First Nations Australian's side, also known as Indigenous people or Aboriginals, the work is focused around Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP).
“The RAP is designed to strengthen relationships between First Nations Australians and non-Indigenous Australians for the benefit of everybody who lives here. It is not only designed to create employment and procurement and engagement outcomes for Sandvik and First Nations people, but to also educate our employees in the history of Australia and how we can each play a role in reconciling that.”
Sandvik sees a lot of benefits from the work.
“We understand that the land on which we operate has a history of more than 65,000 years and we want to build an inclusive workspace that respects First Nations peoples and cultures and works with the communities to learn, collaborate and embrace the best of our nation’s and the world’s diversity. We want to be an employer of choice for First Nations Australians.”