Macmahon Holdings chairman Jim Walker's career-long focus on apprentices and training was recognised at Diggers & Dealers in Kalgoorlie-Boulder tonight when he was awarded the prestigious GJ Stokes Memorial Award.
Following in the footsteps of Andrew Forrest, Sir Arbi Parbo, Nick Giorgetta and Roy Woodall, Mr Walker received the award for his contribution to the mining industry over more than 30 years.
As long-serving managing director of WesTrac, Mr Walker oversaw what at one stage was the biggest private sector apprenticeship program in Australia, with up to 600 apprentices and trainees.
"He ensured that the highest quality education facilities were available to deliver the best tradespeople accessible to industry," Diggers chairman Barry Eldridge told 1250 industry players at the gala dinner, held in the biggest marquee in the southern hemisphere.
Mr Walker said it was "a great privilege to get the award after knowing what (Diggers founder the late) Geoff Stokes did for the Goldfields".
"Training is something I have been involved with all my working life, particularly at WesTrac," he said.
Nick Evans received the media award, marking the third time in 12 years a WestBusiness reporter has been honoured.
Evans, this paper's mining reporter, was nominated by his peers and the industry, a reflection of the quality of his reporting on the sector.
Northern Star Resources was recognised for its flurry of well-timed mine acquisitions with the Dealer award while AngloGold Ashanti and partner Independence Group picked up the Digger gong for their Tropicana operation.
Aurelia Metals was named Emerging Company and WA School of Mines student Samson Pastor won the inaugural Ray Finlayson Medal for leadership and academic excellence.