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South Australia cleans up at Women in Resources awards

South Australia’s trailblazing women of mining and energy raked in a staggering four of the five awards presented at the 2015 Women in Resources National Awards held in Perth last night.

Following on from the high of the inaugural South Australian Women in Resources Awards held in July this year, the South Australian resources sector was again acknowledged and celebrated, this time for its nation leading achievements in the gender diversity sphere.

Guests flew in from all over Australia to attend the awards event, held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, as nominees for five categories from across Australia demonstrating passion and dedication to the resources industry were acknowledged, including companies committed to shaping a gender balanced work environment.

The South Australia Chamber of Mines and Energy nominated six finalists for the national awards and were successful in bringing home half of these, with newly SA-based Jacqui McGill (Asset President Olympic Dam) making it four for the state.

Premier Jay Weatherill congratulated the four South Australian-based winners, adding that their success highlighted the leading role this state plays in supporting diversity across all sectors of the economy.

“In South Australia, we want people and business to thrive and that includes the pioneering women of the resources sector,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Their success provides inspiration to the next generation of South Australians and reinforces our belief that we can eliminate stereotypes wherever they exist even in previously male-dominated industries such as mining and energy.”

Santos was well-represented in the awards, taking out the company award for Excellence in Diversity and Performance for its Gender Equality Program.

Santos employee Helena Wu (Senior Reservoir Engineer) was presented with the Exceptional Young Woman in Australian Resources Award.

Outstanding Australian Tradeswoman, Operator or Technician was awarded to Sabrina McKenzie, plant operator, Theiss, at OZ Minerals’ Prominent Hill mine.

In addition, recently appointed Asset President BHP Billiton Olympic Dam, Jacqui McGill, was awarded Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources for her leadership at BMC, Queensland.

The fifth award, for Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources, went to Bronwyn Barnes, Director and Non-Executive Chair, Winward Resources, Western Australia.

“The SA resources sector should be proud of the calibre of women in our sector, not just the finalists and winners but the large number of women who make our workforces more productive, better balanced and great places to work,” SACOME’s Jason Kuchel said.

The South Australian Women in Resources Awards held earlier this year are an initiative of SACOME’s Women in Resources SA committee (WinRSA), with all winners nominated by SACOME for the national awards.

“Increasing the participation of women in the resources sector is vital not only from an equal opportunities perspective, but for improved business performance which is now well researched and understood,” Mr Kuchel said.

“This is why the activities of our WinRSA committee are so important.”

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