Community Relations professionals manage the relationship between industry, governments and local communities to establish and maintain harmonious relationships between stakeholders. The role can involve preparing submissions and reports, developing community programs and policies and encouraging community involvement in pertinent environmental, cultural and health issues.
A Community Relations Specialist in the minerals industry may perform the following tasks:
- Organise and chair community meetings, facilitate discussions and liaise with community groups, companies and other organisations;
- Prepare submissions and reports for industry and government;
- Monitor, evaluate and recommend changes to community policies, programs and practices, and
- Encourage community participation in the creation of strategies for dealing with environmental, heritage and health issues.
Community Relations can also offer specialisation opportunities as listed below:
Indigenous Community Relations Officer
Indigenous Community Relations Officers liaise with Indigenous communities and mining companies in order to establish and maintain positive relationships.
Indigenous Community Relations Officers in the minerals industry may perform the following tasks:
- Establish good communication between mining companies and local Indigenous communities;
- Participate in the development of strategies to deal with disputes involving resources companies and indigenous communities;
- Advise and educate company staff on cross cultural awareness, and
- Improve community knowledge about mining activities and legal provisions.
Indigenous Heritage Adviser
Indigenous heritage and the indigenous people’s connection with the land requires sensitive consideration and is given high priority. An Indigenous Heritage Officer will ensure that areas and objects of cultural significance are identified and catalogued for conservation.
Indigenous Heritage Officers in the minerals industry may perform the following tasks:
- Develop policy (for conservation purposes);
- Liaise with indigenous communities;
- Raise awareness and value of heritage issues, and
- Develop indigenous heritage tourism and education strategies.
Community Relations Officer: $40,000 — $60,000
Community Relations Manager: $43,000 — $75,000+
Public Affairs Director: $80,000 — $130 000+
Source: www.jobsearch.gov.au (July 2008)
Entry to these occupations is generally through a bachelor degree or AQF Diploma. In some instances relevant experience is required in addition to the formal qualification.