Where did that come from?
Surveys have found that many kids don’t know where their food comes from (they often say ‘the supermarket’), nor their electricity or water. Understandably, they have no direct experience of many of the things we take for granted as a normal part of life in a prosperous country like Australia.
And it’s not just kids – modern life is busy and most of us don’t have the time or inclination to learn about the magic underlying almost every part of the quality of life we are so privileged to enjoy. Clean water, abundant energy, fresh food, and the many comforts and opportunities that life here represents.
But as long as they keep working, you might ask why it is so important to understand these quiet processes happening in the background. Well, public policy is shaped by public opinion, and public opinion is shaped by knowledge. For example, those of us in Gladstone are pretty aware of the importance of the resources industry for Queensland, but did you know that in the year to March 2017, a huge 78%(!!!) of Queensland’s $59billion in overseas exports were from coal, minerals and gas. If our young citizens don’t understand and appreciate the importance of a responsible resources industry in our State’s prosperity, the industry won’t get the public support it needs to endure into the future.
That’s one of the reasons that I’m proud to have a small part in the work of QMEA – the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy – which is the educational part of the Queensland Resources Council. this year QER participated again in QMEA’s “Pit to Port Day”, which gave year seven students from Gladstone high schools some insights into what the resources industry is all about. They learned about how the resources supply chain works – from the first steps of exploration through to production of the goods and energy that we need to sustain life. They also learned about the priority our industry places on responsible health, safety and environmental performance.
It was a very enjoyable day and the kids seemed to get a lot out of it. It’s great to get an opportunity to share something of what we do with a group of enthusiastic young people. I’m already looking forward to next year!