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Some of the event speakers (l-r): Amanda Croker, Linda Davidson, Wayne Scott, Leanne Parker, Megan Davis, Michelle Connelly and Paul Sutton.
Some of the event speakers (l-r): Amanda Croker, Linda Davidson, Wayne Scott, Leanne Parker, Megan Davis, Michelle Connelly and Paul Sutton.

Inaugural Women in Quarrying conference provides new insights

The inaugural Women in Quarrying Conference opened on 21 March at the Glen Hotel in Brisbane. Delegates arrived early in anticipation of the event, with some visitors hailing from as far away as New South Wales and Western Australia.

There were more than 85 attendees, ranging from weighbridge and administration personnel to operations managers and suppliers. Everyone was there to soak up the stories and gain new insights into the diversity of the industry.

The full day event kicked off with a video, showcasing women in many roles. Local south-east Queensland quarry and concrete plant operators supported the making of the film by allowing access to their people and sites. The final cut was shown to the conference and everyone agreed it was great to watch and hear.

Keynote speaker Leanne Parker (the employee relations manager for Hanson) spoke about her start in the industry and gave an insight into personal branding. Leanne described the crossroads moment in her career, when she defined herself as a problem solver. This has formed the basis of Leanne’s approach and has contributed to what makes her so effective today.

Hy-Tec Industries operations manager Amanda Croker outlined her journey and spoke about the rewards for hard work and being recognised for the qualities needed to succeed rather than her gender.

A panel session with (l-r) Tegan Smith, David Smith, Carl Buckland, Paul Sutton and Leanne Parker.
A panel session with (l-r) Tegan Smith, David Smith, Carl Buckland, Paul Sutton and Leanne Parker.

Fond memories of her time at Hanson’s Wolffdene Quarry under the late Frank Seymour, plus the trials of learning aspects of operations in the industry, generated a fair amount of interest from the delegates as Amanda described the past 20 years of operating in a very tough industry with exacting demands.

Stacey Head, of SheWear Australia, provided a short fashion parade of her available work wear and safety boots, and recounted her story of building a business around a need to cater to women in industry. A pair of SheWear work boots was a lucky door prize, won by Lulu Song from Yuaha.

Megan Davis, an environmental consultant for Groundwork Plus, spoke of environmental management in the industry, revealing her passion for her work and the importance of getting the balance right between industry and environment.

Karen Normanton, an Orica senior blast technician, then shared her journey through mining and quarrying and her passion for the field. Technology and process play a large role in her work, which excites and inspires her to be the best she can.

The organising committee comprised (l-r) Anita Waihi, Tegan Smith, David Smith and Julie Warren.
The organising committee comprised (l-r) Anita Waihi, Tegan Smith, David Smith and Julie Warren.

Both Megan and Karen talked about the importance of family and the need to take time to look after yourself, to be the best you can for work and family.

After lunch and networking, the conference continued with an account from IQA CEO Paul Sutton of his journey and experiences of gender diversity. Paul’s presentation was insightful and provided a glimpse into the gender challenges in education.

The afternoon continued with presentations from Jo Crotty (Danger Sun Overhead), Linda MacDonald (Business to One) and Wayne Scott (the Australian Institute of Quarrying Education Foundation).

The panel session in the afternoon comprised panel members Tegan Smith (Groundwork Plus), David Smith (Holcim), Carl Buckland (Boral), Paul Sutton (IQA) and Leanne Parker (Hanson).

Delegates throughout the day were encouraged to lodge questions for the panel and these were subsequently read out and directed to the panel. Content delivered during the presentations provoked further thought and prompted the questions. Towards the end of the session, there was discussion around the ways in which to engage people with the industry and attract the right people for the future. Everyone agreed with the responses and it was very positive to see engagement from the industry representatives to take steps to respond to needs to make changes.

Many stayed behind for the CCAA-sponsored networking drinks to refresh old acquaintances, make new ones and further discuss topics from the day.

Everyone agreed they took more away from the day than they had expected and it was encouraging to see a mixed attendance from both women and men, as this was intended as an industry event and not a women-only forum.

The conference would not have been possible without the sponsors supporting the event (premium sponsors in Boral and Holcim, the video sponsor in Groundwork Plus, networking drinks sponsor CCAA, the master of ceremonies sponsor in CPR Group, and support from Precisionscreen, Minprovise, ProCrush, Metso, the MinRes Training Institute and AIQEF) and the time and energy of the organising committee (comprising Anita Waihi, Michelle Germanotta, Tegan Smith, Julie Warren, David Smith and Kelly Collins).

By Anita Waihi




















Monday, 25 June, 2018 02:32am
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