The NSW Women in Mining Awards recognise and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women and gender diversity champions in the NSW mining industry.
Congratulations to all the 2020 NSW Women in Mining Awards Winners and Finalists.
The winners of the NSW Women in Mining Awards 2020 are:
Exceptional Woman in Mining - Sponsored by Mine Super
Chief Corporate Services Officer
Renata Roberts is the Chief Corporate Services Officer with Hunter based coal miner, The Bloomfield Group. Starting her mining career in 2002, Renata was given her first HR leadership role before the age of 30 at a Tasmanian underground zinc mine, later moving to Tennessee, USA to support the ramp-up of six underground mines.
Renata’s commitment to employee health and wellbeing has seen her lead The Bloomfield Group in a number of important community and gender-based initiatives including the introduction of the mental health program My Mindset which provides one on one professional support for employees, and introduction of paid parental leave for carers.
As well as having a significant leadership role at The Bloomfield Group, Renata has driven programs for the broader industry benefit including the HR and Safety Hub for HR and Safety Professionals in the Hunter.
Exceptional Young Woman - Sponsored by Evolution Mining
Coal Handling and Preparation Plant Maintenance Delivery Superintendent
Leah Miller is currently the Coal Handling and Preparation Plant (CHPP) Maintenance Delivery Superintendent with Yancoal’s Mt Thorley Warkworth mine.
Leah’s is an amazing and unusual career story. She does not have a trade or engineering qualification, Leah started work in the coal industry as a coal analyst in the commercial area of the business. In that role, Leah worked closely with execution teams during the industry downturn to identify millions of dollars of cost savings.
This led Leah to take up roles outside the support teams and her leadership and commercial aptitude have seen her career accelerate in the last two years to the position of CHPP Maintenance Delivery Superintendent. She is responsible for leading a large team while managing maintenance priorities.
Leah is committed to a more gender-diverse workforce and is an active WIMNet member, participates in the Hunter Valley Operations Inclusion and Diversity Committee, as well as mentoring colleagues to pursue careers outside their traditional fields.
Gender Diversity Champion - Sponsored by Thiess
Kate is a partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers.
Kate has been a lawyer for 12 years and specialises in the energy and resources sector. During this time Kate has made a significant contribution to increasing gender diversity in the mining and mining services industry.
Kate was a co-founder of the Hunter Branch of the Women in Mining Network (WIMNet). Kate is currently chair of the Hunter WIMNet Committee and is responsible for the Committee’s program of events that seek to connect women in the industry and provide them with the network and tools to succeed.
Kate is a WIMNet Mentor, guiding and empowering a number of women in their careers. In her role at McCullough Roberston Kate has advocated for the importance of supporting gender diversity initiatives including through sponsorship.
Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance - Sponsored by Hetherington
WIMNet NSW Mentoring Program
In 2015 WIMNet launched its WIMNet Mentoring Program.
While many companies offer internal mentoring, in 2015 there weren’t many opportunities for women in the NSW mining industry to seek independent guidance and support to achieve the next steps in their careers.
The WIMNet program has successfully filled this gap, matching women at different stages of their careers in the mining industry with a mentor to provide them with career guidance and advice on goal setting and enhancing business acumen.
The success of the program is evident from the feedback from mentors, mentees - 100 percent of whom would recommend the program, and the many companies that support the program through sponsorship.
Rae O’Brien, General Manager of Peabody’s Metropolitan Mine sums up the success of the program, “We have seen participants from this Program gain promotions, successfully balance work with family and take on challenges they didn’t previously have the confidence to tackle. It’s been a win/win for everyone involved”.
Outstanding Trade, Operator or Technician - Sponsored by BHP
Trainer Assessor and Operator
Peita Heffernan is a Trainee Assessor and Operator at Glencore’s Bulga Coal.
Peita made a career change to the mining industry after a career in customer service. Peita’s determination to make the switch saw her make huge sacrifices.
Peita was at a career crossroads in 2008 when she saw a media story about roles in mining. While Peita had experience with small machinery through her husband's business, she found that this was not enough to secure a mining role. So Peita invested significant time and thousands of dollars to undertake training. Peita’s first break came by way of a traineeship with a mining contractor, which lead to a permanent role with that contractor, and ultimately to a permanent role at Bulga Coal.
Peita has been promoted to trainer in recognition of her ability to impart knowledge to others. Her dedication to coaching and mentoring employees has seen her further promoted to Head Trainer. A decade of persistence and exemplary work has paid off for Peita, and she now shares those experiences as she mentors new female employees.