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Honours at national Women in Resources Awards in Australia Featured

A Queenslander has taken out the top honours at prestigious BHP 2021 Women in Resources National Awards, presented by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). Maryann Wipaki, General Manager of Health, Safety, Environment, Community at Glencore Queensland Metals in North Queensland has been awarded the 2021 Dyno Nobel Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources Award.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said Maryann is an outstanding role model for the resources sector, currently managing the health and safety, environmental performance, community engagement and social performance for Glencore’s copper and zinc mining and processing operations, which employs almost 5,000 people.

"I hope Maryann’s achievements and her long-standing commitment to promoting excellence in our sector will inspire a whole new generation of women to pursue a highly paid and highly skilled career in our industry,” he said.

MCA Chief Executive Officer Tania Constable said Maryann has been recognised for her advocacy on the important role the mining industry plays in Queensland, and for her commitment to workforce safety as a member of the Queensland Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee. Based in Mt Isa, Maryann is now a multiple award-winning industry leader, having won the Queensland Resources Council’s Exceptional Woman in Resources Award in 2021. Ms Constable said the awards highlight the diversity, calibre and skills of women working across Australia’s world-leading resources industry.

“These awards celebrate initiatives that create a more diverse, safer, fairer and stronger sector. As ambassadors and role models, the award winners will inspire more women to enter the resources workforce,” Ms Constable said.

Mr Macfarlane congratulated Maryann and the five other Queensland finalists in the national awards on their outstanding achievements.

“These awards play a pivotal role in our sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to our workforce,” he said “More than double the number of women are now working in Queensland’s resources sector compared with 2006 when the QRC instigated our Women in Resources Action Plan. Since then, the number of women working in our sector has grown to 20 percent, and we’ve just set a new target of 30 percent female participation by 2026.”

Mr Macfarlane said there is very strong support within Queensland resources companies to incorporate gender diversity into their mainstream business plans, because they recognise that with diversity comes improved safety, innovation and productivity.

"The competition for skilled people within Australia and around the world is also driving the imperative to attract and retain more women in our expanding sector,” he said. "If our sector is to continue to supply the world with the minerals and energy needed to support our modern way of life, we need to bring on board the skills, experience and expertise of more women."

The QRC congratulates all winners of this year's BHP Women in Resources National Awards including:

  • Thiess Outstanding Australian Tradeswoman, Operator or Technician Award Laura Allen, Process Owner at Woodside Energy for her active participation as a member of Woodside’s Gender Equality Matters Network and her support for women to work offshore through recruitment, mentorship and safety advocacy.
  • Maptek Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award Alison Van Lent, Commercialisation Manager at Woodside Energy for her ability to develop and apply technology to improve safety and quality through FUSE, which enables users to identify areas of concern and opportunities.
  • Newcrest Exceptional Young Woman in Australian Resources Award Phoebe Thomas, Principal Business Performance at BHP Mt Arthur Coal for her impressive leadership, mentorship and injury management across the business, as well as strong advocacy on gender diversity and community outreach.
  • Rio Tinto Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources Award Michael Spicer, Production Materials Movement Manager at Liberty Bell Bay for his tireless efforts to increase female participation in the workforce from a 100 per cent male team to 40 per cent female participation today, simultaneously overseeing a 25 per cent increase in female apprenticeships.
  • And Barbara Crossley, Managing Director at Umwelt Australia for her trailblazing adoption of policies such as paid parental leave and genuine flexible working arrangements, as well as her drive to maintain a gender balance across all levels of the business from the graduate to executive level.
  • St Barbara Excellence in Company Programs and Performance Award Step in 2020 People Improvers on behalf of the North West Inclusion Group Tasmania for their impressive and well devised collaborative approach to increase female participation by expanding the pool of women applying for roles in the resources industry from the North West coast of Tasmania.

Source: QRC

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