Australia's best women in mining recognised

INSPIRING women from across Australia’s resources sector have been recognised at Parliament House in Canberra this morning with the announcement of the winners of the Rio Tinto 2018 Women in Resources National Awards.
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Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane with 2018 Gender Diversity Champion Rachel Durdin

Staff reporter

The Exceptional Woman in Australian Resources was named as Mandalay Resources Costerfield general manager Melanie McCarthy from Victoria.

Glencore's Nicole Brook and Rio's Jo-anne Dudley were highly commended, while Digirock managing director Peta Libby won the special judges award for entrepreneurship.

The Exceptional Young Woman in Resources winner was BHP's Nima Sherpa, with a highly commended going to South32's Kristy Christensen.

Rio's Rachel Durdin was Gender Diversity Champion in Australian Resources, with Chevron's Veena Mendez and BHP's Deirdra Tindale highly commended.

BHP's Nicole O'Keefe won Outstanding Australian Trade, Operator or Technician, while Rio/ERA's Katrina Bangay won the special judges award for industry contribution.

Rio's White Ribbon accreditation program won the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance Award, while its Weipa operation was highly commended for inclusion and diversity.

The Awards - in their fifth year - acknowledge the efforts and achievements of exceptional women and gender diversity champions who are paving the way for others in the resources sector across Australia.

"Encouraging women to pursue and continue a career in mining is vital if we are to increase the number of STEM professionals in resources and build our workforce of the future," Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable said.

"It is also clear from evidence that diversity and inclusion drive productivity, innovation and performance.

"With only 16% of Australia's minerals workforce being women, it's clear that there's a big job ahead."

The awards are a partnership between the MCA, Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia, NSW Minerals Council, South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy, Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council and Queensland Resources Council.

The awards breakfast was attended by more than 100 people, including 20 members of parliament, with federal Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women Kelly O'Dwyer making the presentation.