A former haul truck driver and current Project Lead at Hail Creek Mine, south west of Mackay, has taken out a major award at this mornings Resources Awards For Women held in Brisbane.
Mackay woman, Sandy Newman, beat an impressive field of nominees to win the Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources category presented at an International Women’s Day Breakfast at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Queensland’s new Mines Minister, Anthony Lynham presented Ms Newman with her award in front of a packed auditorium of over 600 industry leaders.
Also presenting the awards were Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, along with Queensland Resources Council (QRC) President Rob Neale.
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) in conjunction with Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) hosted the awards.
In accepting her award Ms Newman gave a ‘shout-out’ to her fellow mine workers in the Bowen Basin.
“One day I was designing roads for the department of Main Roads, and the next I was out at Hail Creek Mine, south-west of Mackay, working as an engineer in Technical Services,” Ms Newman said.
“After being on site, I was keen to experience working in an operational role.
“In early 2013 I went into the field as an operator for approximately 18 months and worked on the blast crew, haul and services teams, operating trucks and graders.
For the past year, Sandy has been managing site’s civil infrastructure projects and is in charge of a team of 20 men.
Prior to that she was the mine’s senior drill and blast engineer – the only female in this critical role at the time.
“I am passionate about talking to girls and young women about life and a career in the mining industry. I know how important it is to share my experience and how that can help someone decide whether they want to come and work in the mining industry,” Ms Newman said.
QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said one of the Council’s missions is to increase the participation of women in non-traditional roles in the sector to at least 20 percent by 2020.
“The long-term sustainability of our sector relies on attracting and retaining sufficient skilled people from diverse backgrounds, and we need to continue to keep our eye on future needs, even when we are experiencing difficult times,” Mr Roche said.
Along with the 600 people who attended this morning’s event, a further 200 watched proceedings via live webcast at breakfasts held in Blackwater, Mackay and Moranbah.
FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources:
Winner: Janette Hewson, Director Services, Supply Chain Management, Peabody Energy Australia.
Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources:
Winner: Jacqui McGill, Asset President, BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC)
Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources:
Winner: Sandy Newman, Project Lead West Dam, Hail Creek Mine, Rio Tinto Coal Australia
Outstanding Queensland Tradeswoman/Operator/Technician:
Winner: Julie Stainkey, Crew Leader, East Weipa Mine Operations, Rio Tinto Alcan
Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance:
Winner: Oothungs (Sisters) in Mining, Thiess/Wesfarmers Curragh