GFA's Kelly Carter recognised among leading WA women in mining - The West Australian
Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Jayne Finch did not win the top prize at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s Women in Resources Awards at the Bellevue Ballroom at Perth’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.
But standing onstage among some of the top female and male mining executives in WA, the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines engineer, who lost 80 per cent of her hearing aged 21 after a bout of meningococcal disease, said she knew she belonged.
“Once I got up there and took a big, deep breath I just felt immensely proud to be considered in the same echelon as the other women around me who have achieved so much and done such amazing things,” Ms Finch said.
“I think I was the only person even at an operational level within that group, but I suppose what it drove home to me was that women can be outstanding at any level they work in.
“We don’t all have positional power but we all have influence by choosing our own behaviour. What it said to me was, yes, I might not have those positions, but I still have the chance to make a difference.”
Ms Finch started in the mining industry as a driller’s offsider and, despite her hearing problems and gender, moved up the ranks in the industry before taking a lead role as underground planning and projects engineer at KCGM.
She holds an important position at a crucial time, as the Super Pit operators look underground for the mine’s future.
Outgoing Member for Kalgoorlie Wendy Duncan, who attended the breakfast in Perth, said Ms Finch’s story was an inspiration for others.
“She’s an amazing example of a young woman who has overcome challenges and seized opportunities,” she said. “Not only has that helped her in her own career, but she’s also inspired others.”
The Outstanding Woman in Resources Award was won by BHP Billiton executive Vanessa Torres, ahead of Ms Finch, Gold Fields Australia vice-president legal and compliance Kelly Carter and St Barbara principal resource analyst Meryl Jones.
Ms Torres, from Brazil, credited the resources industry with giving her the opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion.
“I joined the mining industry 25 years ago and I’ve never regretted it once.
I thank BHP Billiton for not only bringing me to this wonderful country, but for the privilege to contribute to our inclusion and diversity journey,” she said.
Georgiou Group executive general manager John Galvin was named the Women in Resources Champion, while Woodside Petroleum surveillance engineer Rachel Leong was named the Outstanding Young Woman in Resources.
Shell Australia won outstanding company initiative, and Alcoa operations centre won outstanding operator and people’s choice Awards.
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