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Tasmania’s minerals industry employees kick more national diversity goals.


The Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council (TMEC) is proud to acknowledge two state winners have taken out awards at the 2021 Women in Resources National Awards held virtually on Monday evening.

For the second consecutive year Tasmania has been home to Australia’s Diversity Champion with Mick Spicer of Liberty Bell Bay (formerly TEMCO) being acknowledged for his contribution Mick pictured at the state awards below). TMEC’s CEO, Ray Mostogl said, “This is fantastic recognition for Mick Spicer and comes on the back of Brett Robins of Bell Bay Aluminium taking out the same award last year. It is clear Tasmania continues to show the quality of what it does.”

The “Excellence in Company Programs or Performance” award went to the North West Inclusion Group a collective effort of a number of businesses (People Improvers, Elphinstone, Protech, Grange Resources and Cement Australia) to create a customised pathway for women with zero experience in mining to get a start in the industry. The successful “Step In” program is an excellent example of how employers who traditionally were not considered an inclusive employer can open themselves up to becoming attractive to more employees from a diverse background.

Ray went on to say, “In a time where employers say then cannot find employees, this shows how employers can increase the number of potential applicants.”

The “Step In” program continues, with a slightly modified version being delivered to a cohort of young women from the Burnie region later this month. Further, a successful funding application to the “Supporting Women to Succeed Fund” will see 20 women in Burnie and 20 women in Huonville complete the program in 2022.

With Tasmanian taking out two of the six national categories, we are certainly performing well above the benchmark in diversity and inclusion, work we will continue to capitalise and expand on over the coming years.

TMEC recently received a grant from the State Government to fund a part time Project Officer to support the increase in the number of businesses in our sector who are inclusive and therefore able to attract and retain diverse employees.

Representatives of the successful North West Inclusion Group (L-R) Louie Gonzy and Alyssia Moolenschot (both of Protech), Jessica Richmond (Ellis Richmond), Cheryl Fuller and Michael Bonney (both of People Improvers), Jovana Weiss (Cement Australia) and the Hon Sarah Courtney MP
Mick Spicer: National Gender Diversity Champion Mick Spicer, pictured with the Hon Sarah Courtney MP at the State awards in June 2021.

From Tania Constable, CEO of Minerals Council of Australia 

The winners of the BHP 2021 Women in Resources National Awards announced tonight reflect the extraordinary breadth of talent, contribution, skill and passion of women in Australia’s world-leading resources industry.

Their inspirational stories will raise awareness of the diverse careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – as well as the trades and social sciences – that exist in the resources sector for women.

As ambassadors and role models, they will inspire more women to enter the resources workforce.

There are clear benefits in increasing women’s workforce participation in resources including better living standards for individuals and families particularly in regional Australia and increased productivity and sustainability for our companies.

The winners of the BHP 2021 Women in Resources National Awards are:

Dyno Nobel Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources Award
Maryann Wipaki, General Manager Health, Safety, Environment, Community, Glencore Queensland Metals for her strong advocacy of the important role the mining industry plays in Queensland and her commitment to the safety of the workforce as a member of the Queensland Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee.

Thiess Outstanding Australian Tradeswoman, Operator or Technician Award
Laura Allen, Process Owner at Woodside Energy for her active participation as a member of Woodside’s Gender Equality Matters Network and her support for women to work offshore through recruitment, mentorship and safety advocacy.

Maptek Women in Resources Technological Innovation Award
Alison Van Lent, Commercialisation Manager at Woodside Energy for her ability to develop and apply technology to improve safety and quality through FUSE, which enables users to identify areas of concern and opportunities.

Newcrest Exceptional Young Woman in Australian Resources Award
Phoebe Thomas, Principal Business Performance at BHP Mt Arthur Coal for her impressive leadership, mentorship and injury management across the business, as well as strong advocacy on gender diversity and community outreach.

Rio Tinto Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources Award
Michael Spicer, Production Materials Movement Manager at Liberty Bell Bay for his tireless efforts to increase female participation in the workforce from a 100 per cent male team to 40 per cent female participation today, simultaneously overseeing a 25 per cent increase in female apprenticeships.
Barbara Crossley, Managing Director at Umwelt Australia for her trailblazing adoption of policies such as paid parental leave and genuine flexible working arrangements, as well as her drive to maintain a gender balance across all levels of the business from the graduate to executive level.

St Barbara Excellence in Company Programs and Performance Award
Step in 2020 People Improvers on behalf of the North West Inclusion Group Tasmania for their impressive and well devised collaborative approach to increase female participation by expanding the pool of women applying for roles in the resources industry from the North West coast of Tasmania.