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Coal miners recognised for contribution to industry

Kathryn Young and Larnie Mackay
(L-R) BHP Peak Downs Coal Mine geotechnical engineer Kathryn Young and Anglo American digital transformation underground project lead Larnie Mackay.

Two Queensland coal mine workers were recently honoured for their leadership and creative thinking.

BHP Peak Downs Coal Mine geotechnical engineer Kathryn Young (pictured left) and Anglo American digital transformation underground project lead Larnie Mackay have each been named winners at the Minerals Council of Australia’s BHP 2020 Women in Resources National Awards.

‘Very lucky’ to work in mining

Young claimed the Newcrest Exceptional Young Woman in Australian Resources Award for not only doing a great job but also encouraging other women to consider a career in mining. She has spread this message at several industry events including universities and even supervises interns during the summer break.

“I truly believe that I am very lucky to work in the industry that I do, and no day is the same and there are always things that can be continually improved and new challenges that we can overcome,” she said in a public statement. “It is a really exciting time to work in the industry and I cannot wait to see what the future in mining holds for me.”

‘Changed’ underground mining

Mackay, who is based in Moranbah, won the very first Maptek Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award for innovative leadership in creating what is touted to be the nation’s first electronic tablet device certified for unrestricted use in underground coal mines.

“Our underground tablets have changed the way we work underground and opened the door for further improvements in digitisation and data analytics to help improve safety and productivity in our operations,” she said. “It has been a culture and technology game changer at our underground mines and the way it has been embraced by our teams, especially those underground, has been phenomenal.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) congratulated all of the winners and finalists.

“Queensland had eight finalists in these awards and I want to congratulate every one of them for their outstanding achievements,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said. “More than double the number of women are now working in our resources sector in Queensland compared with 2006 when we began our Women in Resources Action Plan.”

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Other winners include:

  • Dyno Nobel Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources Award: Bloomfield Group chief corporate services officer Renata Roberts
  • Rio Tinto Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources Award: Bell Bay Aluminium crew leader Brett Robins (Queensland finalist Jayson Smeeton from BHP)
  • St Barbara Excellence in Company Programs and Performance Award: Compass Group national general manager, diversity, inclusion and indigenous engagement Vanessa Davies (Queensland finalist Hastings Deering)
  • Thiess Outstanding Australian Tradeswoman, Operator or Technician Award: Newmont Boddington Gold Mine open pit supervisor Jennifer Ward (Queensland finalist Peabody Energy Mackay machine operator and trainer assessor Conal Hearps).

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