Quarrying women look “Beyond The Bench” to the future

The opening session featured a performance and song written by Tegan Smith, Michelle Connelly and Jen Dainer, accompanied by the harmonising Beamish Boys parodying a day in the life of a female quarry worker.

Passionate stories

Speakers throughout the day brought their personal stories to the room, discussing their passions and love for the industry through their daily interactions.

Kate du Preez, the Queensland Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health, was very forthcoming with her personal story of mining in South Africa, challenging the conventional mining approaches there and the lessons learnt along the way.

Hanson business improvement manager Alison Pocock described her version of courage, taking delegates on her journey of nearly 25 years in the industry and delighting everyone with stories of swimming with whale sharks and holding pythons.

Of special note was Dan Hede, from Groundwork Plus, who discussed the specific place flora and fauna have in the quarrying environment, with respect to the rehabilitation of sites. Dan brought some baby plants along for delegates to take home.

Throughout the day, the message from speakers was about their passion for the industry. It culminated in a panel discussion looking forward and back.

David Kershaw joined the panel to share his views on how the industry operated in the past, and graduate representatives Amerie Jackson (Boral) and Michelle Pawluck (Holcim) gave their insights on where they felt the industry should be going.

Joanne Payne (Sequel Drill & Blast) joined the conversation with her perspective as a board member and business leader on training and professional development.

The IQA’s marketing and communications officer Ben Yong also related his experiences with secondary students and the use of social media to introduce new generations to the industry.

Other presentations included the 2017 IQA Environment Award won by Braeside Quarry, Metso’s vision sizing technology VisioRock, from Roxanne Powell, professional development from Susan Fanning, safety and culture from Caterpillar Safety Services’ Jenny Krasny, and communication with stakeholders from CPR Group’s Michelle Connelly.

Tears and camaraderie

Non-members who registered for the conference took the opportunity to sign up for the complimentary membership on offer.

The CCAA-sponsored networking drinks saw many delegates stay to discuss the day’s program and continue dialogue. There were laughs, tears and camaraderie among like- minded people who love the industry and the challenges it presents.

Many thanks are in order to the organising committee, the IQA branches that supported this event, and to the sponsors: Boral, Groundwork Plus, CCAA, MinRes Training Institute, Holcim, Hanson, Hy-Tec, Metso, Minprovise, Precisionscreen, 888 Crushing & Screening, and Komatsu Australia.

Without the industry’s valued support, these events just wouldn’t happen.

Anita Waihi is the co-ordinator for the Queensland Women in Quarrying branch.



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