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Groundwork Plus Data Systems Manager Catherine Young talks challenges, perks, and advice regarding a career in the extractive industry. 

What’s your current role and what does this involve?

I am currently working to develop and implement an online system to assist in management of sites including environmental compliance, health and safety, employee and contractor management, plant and equipment management and site document management and auditing.  

How long have been in the industry?

I’ve been in the industry for nearly 14 years, where I have worked in various roles from admin assistant, environmental scientist and now data systems manager.

What do you enjoy about your role?

The challenge and the new skills that I am learning along the way. I also love that I can bring my science background and creative spirit together for a useful purpose. 

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself in your first week in the industry?

I think I would tell younger me to enjoy it and reap the benefits of working in an industry like this. It is so wide ranging and there are so many training courses, seminars, functions, onsite learnings, etc. to broaden your knowledge in so many varied areas. 

Can you share a challenging moment and how you worked through it?

I can think of so many challenging moments, most of which include mud (and cars suck in it): can’t find bores, heat, snakes, cattle on the loose, malfunctioning equipment and rain events (where every site in Queensland needs you there yesterday). 

You have just got to take a breath and work through it step-by-step. 

Do you have any regrets?

No, no time in life for regrets. 

You “can’t be what you can’t see”, so what advice would you give women who may never have thought about the extractive industry?

It’s just like any other industry so why not work in it. Its varied and its productive and has a very important place in our communities.

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