Paladin Group Director Ian Stewart last week attended the annual conference of the country’s peak body for the oil and gas industry, where he was able to share insights into Paladin’s community engagement approach to supporting major projects.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference, which took place in Brisbane, hosted a special session on community engagement on 30th May. The discussions, which Ian Stewart participated in, centred around the increasing need to work closely with communities in localities where resources projects are based.

Ian Stewart commented, “At Paladin, we understand the importance of partnering with the communities in which we operate to ensure that they share in the success of a project. At the end of the day, we need to be able to support the local communities’ aspirations to meet their basic needs – to have a job, a home and opportunities for their children. This is a model that we have used in our projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

“In Papua New Guinea, for instance, the indigenous population’s family and clan relationships are a source of strength. That’s why we have entered into joint ventures with local landowner groups to ensure that we have shared goals and outcomes. While there have been immediate benefits such as increased employment opportunities and local projects that support schools and address environmental issues, ultimately we aim to transfer ownership as well as capabilities to the local community.

“Businesses operating in Australia need to adopt such practices more widely. The panelists on the community engagement session at the APPEA Conference all highlighted the need to work closely with communities and I think this is a very important message for the resources industry.”

Ian Stewart is a highly experienced global security expert who has worked in some of the most high-risk challenging environments including the Congo and countries in the Middle East.

With over 4,500 staff and contractors working across the Asia-Pacific, the Paladin Group is a leading provider of security and support services for major projects in the region.