Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from the Girls Academy program at Dubbo College Senior Campus were recently given the opportunity to explore what life would be like as a miner.
The 25 students toured the mining operation on a recent visit to Peabody Wilpinjong mine near Mudgee.
The students heard from strong young women on the Wilpinjong team about the diverse range of careers available in mining, and got up close to large mining equipment.
Wilpinjong Maintenance Planner Hana Newbery shared her experiences working as a young woman in the resources industry, encouraging the students to aim high and not listen to those that say mining is a "man's world."
"Even though mining has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, my message is that stereotypes are just that and they shouldn't stop any girl from having a go," Mrs Newbery said.
"My job is challenging and rewarding all in one, so if somebody tells you no, ignore it, set your own goals and tell yourself I can do this."
Lauren Constable also spoke to the girls about her role as an Occupational Health Advisor at Wilpinjong and how she'd never really considered a role in mining after studying exercise physiology at university.
"I would recommend a job in mining for any girl because there are so many job options in our industry that people just don't know about," she said.
"It's good for the girls to see that's there's other people like me from a small town that have been able to take up an interesting career opportunities that aren't too far away from home.
"Financially this job has been a good move for my partner and me. It's helped us achieve some of our goals like saving for a house, taking great holidays and finally getting a new car."
Girls Academy Founder Ricky Grace said visits to workplaces like Wilpinjong open up exciting opportunities for the students.
"Educated girls and young women have the potential to be powerful catalysts for change in their communities. Girls Academy equips girls with the tools, knowledge and confidence required to achieve their goals and reach their full potential," Mr Grace said.
"These visits help girls learn about endless career possibilities available to them and allow girls to explore their work options and experience the workplace first hand.
"The key is to build relationships with girls early, so job placements or apprenticeships have the best chance of success.
"Our post school staff work closely with companies in the mining sector as they provide massive employment opportunities for our students. This sector has traditionally been an unlikely work environment for Indigenous women and has enormous untapped potential."