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Sarah Bellman says she always had a passion for big machines and the great outdoors.
Sarah Bellman says she always had a passion for big machines and the great outdoors.

Sarah Bellman: Striving for sustainable, exciting, innovative work environments

Sarah Bellman joined the extractive industry in 2007 as a graduate management trainee at Hanson Construction Materials. Now, as Hanson’s quarry operations manager for South Australia, Sarah shares her insights of the industry.

Where did it all begin?

I grew up on a farm and always had a passion for machines, the outdoors, understanding how things work and if I could make something work better. I completed a double degree in mechanical engineering and management and commenced full-time work with Tenix Defence.

I was working purely as a design engineer, which I did enjoy, but I always had an inner desire to work in a “hands-on” industry with big machines, while still putting my problem-solving, design and management skills into practice. I applied for a role with Hanson Construction Materials on their graduate development program.

How has your career progressed?

"I’ll continue to play a part in this industry and help create sustainable, exciting, challenging and innovative work environments,"

I joined Hanson in Adelaide in 2007 as a graduate management trainee, initially in technical, then concrete and quarries. I left in June 2011 to work for a copper mine in the Adelaide Hills as a mine engineer. That was rewarding at the time, but I was a small fish in a big pond.

The experience reinforced my passion for drill and blast, geology, building strong teams and mine to mill optimisation. I was drawn back to Hanson in August 2013 as the concrete production manager for Adelaide, and this expanded to country responsibilities. I became the quarry operations manager for South Australia in August 2017.

What has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?

There have been many, and it is difficult to select one over the others. One that does stand out was when I was working towards gaining my mine manager’s certificate, and to achieve that I needed to have logged machine operation time. I spent four months operating a 777 dump truck on a 12-hour, 6/3 roster – that is, six days of night shift, three days off and six days of day shift.

I gained first-hand experience in fatigue, management thereof and the challenges the operators face around maintaining a sustainable work life/health balance. After finishing the stint, I immediately researched alternate patterns!

What opportunities have you had as part of this industry that you would not have had elsewhere?

Sarah’s daughter Alyce keeps her smiling!
Sarah’s daughter Alyce keeps her smiling!

Discovering an industry that has great history, heritage, is grounded and yet is at the forefront of technology and building a sustainable future. Role and career diversity – concrete technology, sales, geology, drill and blast, design, environmental sustainability, government regulation, strategic planning, machine operation – the list is endless. You will certainly find something you really enjoy and want to build on!

Considerable training, networking and mentoring opportunities.

Involvement with associations and government bodies to help shape the future of the construction materials industry.

I have learned to operate and trust massive machines – that is, to treat them like they are an extension of your own body!

What does the WIQ mean to you?

Sharing experiences, building friendships and creating avenues to increase awareness, exposure and diversity within the industry.

Outside of work, what keeps you smiling?

Watching Alyce, my 20-month-old, learn new things every day and her smile for achieving something great.

What does the future hold for Sarah Bellman?

I’ll continue to play a part in this industry and help create sustainable, exciting, challenging and innovative work environments where I would be only too proud to see my daughter work as a career of choice.




















Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 09:45pm
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