ECEC project earns Queensland Mining Award nomination
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > ECEC project earns Queensland Mining Award nomination

ECEC project earns Queensland Mining Award nomination

by Freya Lucas

June 26, 2024

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and Astute Early Years Specialists have been nominated for the Community, Staff Engagement or Equal Opportunity Award at the esteemed Queensland Mining Awards, recognising the efforts made to improve the availability of early childhood education and care (ECEC) for regional communities through the Childcare Leadership Alliance (CLA) project.


Launched in 2022 with the support and funding of BMA, and with Astute Early Years Specialists appointed as the lead project delivery partner, the CLA project has developed and trialled strategic solutions aimed at empowering early childhood and school-age care providers to attract, retain, and upskill educators, initially focusing on two pilot towns within Queensland’s Isaac Regional Council.


A campaign targeting the recruitment of international workers achieved remarkable success, attracting expressions of interest from over 130 educators worldwide.


“We are incredibly proud of the work the Childcare Leadership Alliance has achieved in collaboration with BMA and Astute Early Years Specialists,” CLA Project Manager Melissa Comerford said. 


“Being recognised in the Queensland Mining Awards is a testament to the dedication and commitment of everyone involved in this initiative.”


Peak Downs Mine General Manager Mick Thomas has seen the value of the CLA project firsthand, in terms of his workforce, and described the nomination as “a great honour.”


“Through the amazing work of the CLA, which is being supported and funded by BMA and Astute Early Years Specialists, there are families getting better access to quality childcare and early learning support in our regional communities,” he said. 


“This partnership is enabling the Childcare Leadership Alliance to make a real difference in the community.”


The 2024 Queensland Mining Awards will be held on Wednesday, July 24, in Mackay. The gala dinner will unveil the winners of each of the eight categories, along with the Queensland Mining Contractor of the Year.


In announcing the nomination the CLA extended its “heartfelt thanks” to BMA and Astute Early Years Specialists for their support and dedication to the project, describing the outcomes as remarkable, and noting that this nomination “highlights the impact of their strategic innovation in regional childcare.”


To learn more about supporting the CLA and the Isaac community with financial or housing support please reach out to discuss at [email protected] 


For more information about the project visit

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