Lifetime achievement award for resources sector trailblazer

The Queensland Resources Council has presented its first ever Lifetime Contribution Award to mark the career of resources sector trailblazer ConocoPhillips Australia East President Wendy King.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the honour was befitting to recognise a career that has reached the very highest level.

“Wendy is a role model especially to other women and proof that there are no limitations on a career in the resources sector. Women can and do make a valuable contribution to our sector at every level from out in the field through to senior management,” Mr Macfarlane said.

In the other major award, a 30-year resources sector veteran and leader for women in the field was named Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources.

Dr Jennifer Purdie, Non-Executive Director of Neometals, recently completed her contract as Chief Executive at Adani Australia Renewables after bringing the company’s Rugby Run solar plant in central Queensland to production.

She was presented with a study scholarship from the Australian Institute of Management valued at $30,000.

“AIM is delighted to support these awards and we congratulate all the candidates, finalists and winners,” said Australia Institute of Management CEO Ben Foote.

“AIM is proud to be working closely with the Queensland Resource Council (QRC) and WiMARQ to improve both the gender gap within this sector as well as increase gender equality across executive and board positions.”

These awards were two of nine presented at the QRC/ Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) awards before a record crowd of more than 900 at their International Women’s Day breakfast today in Brisbane, presented by BHP.

About 450 people also viewed a live webcast in Moranbah, Mount Isa, Blackwater, Curragh Mine, Cannington Mine, Rockhampton, Weipa and resources company offices around Brisbane.

“Over the past 30 years, I have been one of very few women in the heavily male dominated resources businesses,” said Jenny.

“I consider it a privilege to pioneer the way for the women who have since followed in my footsteps,” she said.

“In 1997 when I joined New Zealand Aluminium Smelters as an operations superintendent, I was the second female ever to perform this role on that site, and in 2005 as Point Henry General Manager I was the first ever female leader of that site and the second ever female GM of an Aluminium Smelter in Australia.”

In 2017 Jenny joined Adani in the pioneering role of CEO of a startup renewable energy business.

“As an organisation based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Adani had very few female employees globally and even fewer female leaders,” said Jenny.

“Outside of Adani, I also became one of a very small number of female senior leaders of an Australian renewable energy company.”

Jenny has also found time to raise three children, contribute to the community through a number of environment and disability groups, and mentor women in the resources sector, including through the QRC/WIMARQ Mentoring program, which this year was extended to Year 12 girls in Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) schools.

And, she is currently co-leading a national energy industry/customer initiative focusing on achieving a globally competitive electricity price in Australia.

“The aim of this work is to improve the energy industry’s social license by focusing on customer needs and developing trust while influencing the national energy debate towards a balanced view of energy sources and prices,” she said.

The awards were presented by the Minister for Women Di Farmer, QRC President Rag Udd and WIMARQ Chair Maria Joyce.

‘These awards play a pivotal role in our sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to our workforce,’ Ian Macfarlane said.

“Over the past 12 years since the introduction of our Women in Resources Action Plan, the proportion of women working in non-traditional roles in our sector in Queensland has more than doubled to 14.5 per cent percent (from 6 per cent in 2006) in our latest survey of members.

“Overall they make up 16.5 per cent of our workforce.

“The amazing technological advancements in our sector are making it easier for men and women to balance working in resources industries with family other commitments.

“If we are to attract the best and brightest into our increasingly technological sector, we need to scoop from the entire talent pool, not just half of it.

“Since 2006 these awards have provided a cohort of role models and ambassadors to inspire women to enter and remain in our resources sector.

“The economic and social benefits of better gender balance for our sector is well made and we believe that women should have equal access to the rewarding and high-paying careers it offers,” he said.

Other category winners were:

Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance: South32

Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources: Alicia Hurkmans Santos GLNG

Exceptional tradesperson, Technician, operator in Queensland Resources: Alanna Dennien Kommatsu

Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources: Rob Jackson South32

Exceptional Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy Student in Queensland Resources: Madison Curran

Media contcat: Anthony Donaghy

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