Women's award a winner for industry

WHILE this year's winner of the Queensland Resources Council's Resources Award for Women is BHP Mitsubishi Alliance senior engineer Melanie Gordon, the resource sector is the real winner, with the awards encouraging more women to get involved at a time when their valuable skills are needed more than ever.
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Queensland minister for women, Margaret Keech.

Christine Feary

Queensland Minister for Women Margaret Keech presented the awards, at QRC's annual International Women's Day Breakfast in Brisbane today.

Overall winner Gordon is the senior engineer of major projects at BMA's open cut Goonyella Riverside mine in Central Queensland. She was the first woman appointed by BMA to project manager for a dragline shutdown.

BMA was also recognised with a Community Partnership Award, for its role in making licensed child care available to the community around its Blackwater mine, making it easier for women with children to stay in the workforce.

Working with the local PCYC, BMA helped to set up a vacation and out of school hours care centre, initially investing $37,000 to renovate a former preschool building. BMA has continued to support the centre, providing $8000 annually to support ongoing sustainability.

QRC chief executive Michael Roche said the awards, part of the QRC's Women in Resources Action Plan, aim to increase the number of women working in the resource sector. Currently women make up 11 percent of QRC members' workforce, while in non-traditional roles the figure is 7 percent.

"With WRAP, we have set ourselves a target to increase the percentage of our female workforce in non-traditional roles to at least 12 percent by 2020.

"While we need to attract more women to our sector to ensure we have sufficient skilled workers for this expanding industry, the QRC also believes that women should have every opportunity to benefit from the fantastic opportunities available."

2008 winner Melanie Gordon said she was "excited and honoured" by the recognition of her work, and hoped she could inspire other women as previous winners inspired her.

"Women who have won this award previously have been an inspiration to me and to be recognised alongside them is a privilege.

"I would like to thank the Queensland Resources Council and WIMARQ for the award and for taking the initiative to promote networking and raising the profile of women in the resources industry.

"I hope that I will be a role model for other ladies in the resource industry and inspire them to reach for the stars."