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Rio Tinto Weipa rolled out the red carpet for the Trinity Bay Academy students during a recent road trip to Bamaga.

It was the first time a Cairns Clontarf Academy had ventured this far north and judging by the experience we had it definitely won’t be the last.

With the strong family connections our boys have with the Bauxite mine in Weipa, it was a fantastic opportunity for the boys from Cairns to spend the entire day on site learning about the different operations and opportunities available.

To kick things off, the young men received detailed insight into the main operations of the mine, focusing on the strong partnerships built with local Aboriginal Traditional Owners. It was particularly interesting to hear how Rio Tinto has committed to revegetating the mined areas to preserve the local environment.

After receiving a safety brief by Rio Tinto staff members, the group boarded the bus where they toured the heart of the mine’s operations. Needless to say, the boys were fascinated by the size and scale of the machinery.

The next stop was the ‘control centre’ which showed off high-tech computers which tracked every movement of the vehicles on the site. The staff who managed these computers worked 12 hour straight shifts – an effort which blew the boys away.

Over a hearty lunch of rolls and wraps, the boys had the opportunity to speak with Rio Tinto staff who worked in the apprenticeship programme. The boys asked many thought-provoking questions about what life was like in the mines and how a career might look like for themselves.

After lunch, three new Rio Tinto staff introduced themselves and led the boys through three challenging activities which required teamwork and plenty of trial and error to succeed. Although exhausted from travelling the previous day, the boys attacked these challenges with gusto and refused to concede defeat.

Every staff member the boys met over the course of the day were extremely welcoming and it is fair to say the trip has lit a fire in a few of these young men who will now return to school with a clear pathway in mind.

Rio Rolls out red carpet for TBay Academy (1) [600px WA] Rio Rolls out red carpet for TBay Academy (4) [600px WA] Rio Rolls out red carpet for TBay Academy (2) [600px WA] Rio Rolls out red carpet for TBay Academy (3) [600px WA]