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Blackwater woman takes home State mining award

Leah RossBlackwater woman Leah Ross has been awarded the Queensland Resources Council’s Resources Award for Women in the Operator category.

Leah was Thiess Australia Mining’s first female dozer and excavator operator, first female co-ordinator and first female superintendent.

Now working as Mining Superintendent, Open Pit Operations, at the Curragh North Coal Mine, Leah began her mining career at the age of 21 in Western Australia and at 29 moved to Queensland where she has been a trail blazer for women in the industry.

Leah says her advancement from operator to superintendent in a short period of time shows that with a strong work ethic, determination and an open mind, advancement, no matter your gender, is possible.

‘I feel that my persistence, enthusiasm and ability to deliver have made many men rethink their prejudice towards women in the industry,’ said Leah.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche says the awards, which lift the profile of women in the minerals and energy sector and provide a cohort of female industry ambassadors, are part of the QRC’s plan to increase the proportion of women in ‘non-traditional’ roles in the resources sector to 20 percent by 2020.

‘I congratulate Leah on her significant achievements, particularly for opening the way for other women in non-traditional roles in the resources sector.

‘Stories such as Leah’s are reflected in our most recent gender diversity survey of our member which shows we are on track to reach our 20 percent by 2020 target..

Full list of winners:

Overall 
Winner: Laura Tyler Asset President, BHP Billiton Cannington Mine
Highly Commended: Linda Murry, Planning & Logistics Manager – Weipa, Rio Tinto Alcan; Amy Hodson-Clarke, Well Engineering and Technology Manager, Geodynamics Limited; Leisa Elder, Vice President, Community & Sustainable Development, Arrow Energy.

Rising Star
Winner: Cindy Emmett, Anglo Graduate Mechanical Engineer, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal, Moranbah North Mine
Highly Commended: Roxy Quirk, Prestrip Contracts Senior Analyst, BMA Goonyella Riverside Mine; Monica Joseph Electrical Engineer, Zinc-Lead Concentrator, Glencore Mount Isa Mines.

Trade
Winner: Amy Woods, Underground Install electrician Glencore Mount Isa Mines
Highly Commended: Megan Turner, Fourth-year Apprentice Diesel Fitter, Anglo American; Hayley Daniels, Supervisor Field Maintenance Electrician, BMA Coal Blackwater Mine

Operator
Winner: Leah Ross, Superintendent, Open Pit Operations, Thiess Mining Curragh North Coal Mine
Highly Commended: Elisha Lauren Beresford, Head Operator Trainer/Multi-skilled Operator, Thiess Mining Curragh North Mine; Megan Hetherington, Cablebolter Glencore Mount Isa Copper Operations

Gender Diversity Champion
Winner: Craig McCabe, General Manager, Wesfarmers Curragh Coal Mine
Highly Commended: Ben Bradley, Manager Human Resources, BMA Caval Ridge Mine; Penny Hamilton, Diversity Officer, Thiess Australian Mining.

Best Company Initiative:
Winner: BMA – Daunia and Caval Ridge mine diversity program
Highly Commended:Thiess/Wesfarmers Curragh ‘Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining; Wesfarmers Resources Wesfarmers Resources’ Women in Resources program

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