CME 2014 Women in Resources Awards Finalists Announced

Published: 05/02/2014

CME (Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2014 Women in Resources Awards.

Outstanding Company Initiative

BHP Billiton Iron Ore – Kworp Kooling Mining Skills Program
Kworp Kooling is a residential program that provides training in haul truck operations which prepares Indigenous women without resources sector experience for a seamless transition to site.

Newcrest Mining Ltd – Diversity Digital Stories
The Newcrest Diversity Digital Stories are the result of Newcrest’s desire to provide better insight into the level of gender diversity within its organisation.

St Barbara Ltd – Eliminating the Equity Pay Gap
St Barbara has implemented a systematic and sustainable approach to reduce the pay equity gap. From a standing-start in 2007, St Barbara now has in place a board approved human resources strategy to address the gender equity pay gap that is hard-wired to the company’s business strategy.

Women in Resources Champion

Mark Bevan (BHP Billiton Iron Ore)
Mark has enabled opportunities for women within the BHP Billiton Iron Ore Port Production department by focusing on prospective applicants’ character and capacity rather than solely experience. Since 2010 Mark has taken female employment in the department from less than 5 per cent to 21 per cent. Mark believes success in realising the value available from increased representation of women in the resources sector will require the effort of many individuals influencing from a variety of perspectives.

Stuart Forrester (Iluka Resources)
Stuart’s commitment to diversity comes from his belief that a diverse team creates a workplace that facilitates flexibility and drives growth through differing values, skill sets and backgrounds. Stuart facilitated a fundamental change to the way Iluka approached recruitment to provide opportunities for all. This change led to an increase in female employees at Iluka’s Narngulu operations from 16.5 per cent in 2012 to 25.4 per cent in 2013.

Rowena Smith (BHP Billiton Nickel West)
Rowena believes women bring a diversity of thought, approach, background and style that leads to enhanced business outcomes for organisations with a diverse workforce. Rowena is an outstanding role model and champion for women and a leader of change. Throughout her career in resources she has been a driving force articulating and promoting the business case for diversity. She was instrumental in setting a target to achieve 25 per cent female participation over five years.

Outstanding Woman In Resources

Kyra Bonney – (Kyra Bonney Indigenous Consultancy, McConnell Dowell, Land Lease)
Kyra’s mining traineeship was the start of a 13-year career in mining. Kyra has since completed tertiary level studies and established her own consultancy business with a vision of providing services which ‘bridge the cultural divide’ between companies, Indigenous employees and community stakeholders. She is the youngest board member of the Aboriginal Lands Trust, Deputy Chairperson for the HALO project, an Indigenous youth leadership program, and a trainer/mentor for Ignite Basketball, a community initiative that uses sport to engage and develop young people in disadvantaged areas.

Lara Bruhns (BHP Billiton Nickel West)
Lara is the General Manager for Nickel West Leinster. Over her 20-year career in mining she has actively coached others to ensure diversity and inclusion norms are challenged. As one of only a handful of female General Managers in the Australian resources sector, Lara’s proven ability to successfully manage a key leadership role on a FIFO roster makes her a role model for women in the industry with family commitments.

Rachel Mottram (Alcoa of Australia)
Rachel has been a member of both Wagerup and Pinjarra refineries’ lead teams accountable for lean manufacturing improvement initiatives across refinery processes and systems. A significant highlight of her 17-year career with Alcoa of Australia was being promoted to a senior management role at the age of just 30.

Rubini Ventouras (Newmont Asia Pacific)
Appointed to Newmont’s Asia Pacific Leadership Team in 2007 at 34, Rubini was the youngest female appointed to a senior management team at Newmont. As the mother of three young boys Rubini has faced the challenge of competing priorities between motherhood and career. With Newmont’s support, Rubini has explored ways to remain connected with her family during periods of travel and work in Indonesia, including travelling with her newborn to continue nursing.

Outstanding Young Woman in Resources

Ellen Coates (BHP Billiton Iron Ore)
Ellen is a Process Control and Improvement Superintendent with BHP Billiton Iron Ore. She leads a team of 20 and has recently implemented a port wide project pipeline process, impacting seven departments across Iron Ore. Ellen is currently studying an MBA with the IE Business School in Spain.

Heidi Edwards (Rio Tinto Iron Ore)
Heidi leads the maintenance engineering team responsible for Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s hydrocarbon assets across the Pilbara. A highlight in Heidi’s career includes managing a $3.2 million upgrade of a new fuel facility, at less than 65 per cent of the original budget in less than 50 per cent of the original timeframe.

Suanlee Heng (BHP Billiton Nickel West)
Suanlee is a Mining Engineer by trade and has come through the BHP Billiton Graduate Foundations Program. Suanlee has spent over a year working on an underground mining crew and has been a member of the emergency response team since 2011. She has worked as a drill and blast engineer and holds a WA shot firers license.

Outstanding Operator / Technician / Trade Woman

Emma Stevenson (BHP Billiton Nickel West)
Emma Stevenson joined BHP Billiton Nickel West Leinster as a Process Technician in 2008. Emma recently completed her apprenticeship and has secured an Electrical Instrument Technician position. In a non-traditional field for women, Emma has performed exceptionally and was awarded Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 WA Training Awards.

Erin Kinnealy (Iluka Resources)
Erin Kinnealy started her career with Iluka 16 months ago with no mining experience. She became Iluka’s first female Separation Plant Control Room Operator within six months of starting with the company. Erin is Iluka’s site mentor for applicants into Ricky Grace’s Girls Academy and has established a support network for the women on site to address the needs of Iluka’s female workforce.

Nellie McGowan (BHP Billiton Iron Ore)
Nellie McGowan was completely new to the mining industry when she commenced training to become a train driver in the Tracks to Success traineeship in 2011. She is now responsible for all normal yard duties including shunting locomotives and making and breaking trains. She contributes to her community as a board member of the Youth Involvement Council, Vice President and Development Officer for the Port Headland Netball Association.

The Awards

CME is impressed with the excellent response received for the 2014 Women in Resources Awards. Seventy submissions have been reviewed as part of the preliminary judging round. The quality of these submissions was very high and it was a difficult task to identify the submissions that have proceeded through to the final judging round.
The awards will be presented over breakfast at the Perth Convention Exhibition Centre on Friday 7 March 2014, commencing at 7.00am (for a 7.30am sit-down). The event will include a panel discussion, to be hosted by popular journalist, commentator and media personality Annabel Crabb.

People’s Choice Award

We would like to share the finalists’ stories with you, and invite you to vote for the person who you believe has made the most outstanding contribution to the Western Australian resources sector and is enhancing the participation of women. The finalists of each individual category (excluding the Outstanding Company Initiative finalists) are eligible for the People’s Choice Award.

Please visit the CME website to submit your vote. Only one vote per visitor is accepted.

Award enquiries:
contact: Susan Cull
phone: (08) 9220 8517

Event enquiries:
contact: Anne Owen
phone: (08) 9220 8509