By BMA Magazine
When I left my home city of Brisbane for a mining job in the bush, my friends placed bets on how long I’d last, but the punters came up empty, and six years on I’m still up and running in Queensland’s outback.
I am now a Senior Engineer (Major Projects) with BMA (BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance), and also the first woman appointed by BMA to project manage a dragline shutdown. This involves leading a team of 176 people at our Goonyella Riverside Mine near Moranbah. It’s been a long process of planning, but I know by the end of the seven-week shutdown, it will have been an excellent experience.
My tertiary education includes a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, a Graduate Certificate in Mineral Resources, and I hold a Masters of Science and Technology in Industrial Safety as well as being in the process of completing a Masters of Project Management.
In addition to my day-to-day job, I have really enjoyed the challenge of encouraging more women into mining. In March I was awarded the major prize at the Queensland Resources Council’s annual Resources Awards for Women. Winning this award has been one of the most satisfying moments in my career, and I hope that I can inspire other women as previous winners have inspired me.
I am also part of a group called Women in Mining and Resources Queensland, which during the year hosts networking events for mining women in the State. In April we will hold our first networking forum in Moranbah. The forum, to be held at the Purple Grape, Cinema Complex, at 6:30pm on Thursday 17 April 2008, will focus on work-life balance. By supporting this group, as well as the Girls in Hard Hats program, we can show women that they can do anything and can tackle these non-traditional roles. Outside of work, I’m married to Mac Gordon who is the Maintenance Superintendent at Goonyella Riverside Mine, the same mine that I work at. We met at university in Brisbane where we were both studying engineering and the rest is history. Working in the same industry and in similar roles has allowed us to provide advice and support to each other on the challenges that we face at work.