07 March 2013

Female high school students join Coal & Allied to celebrate women in mining

Pictured left to right: Coal & Allied Human Resources Graduate Eliza O'Shea; Australian Christian College Singleton students Breeanna Conners, Chelsea Burke and Maddison Rudder; and Coal & Allied Electrical Apprentice Simone Marskell.

Earlier today female high school students from three schools in Singleton joined Coal & Allied women at its 2nd Annual Women in Mining breakfast to celebrate International Women's Day and learn about a diverse range of careers in the mining industry.

The breakfast is a finalist in the Outstanding Initiative category at tonight's 2013 NSWMC Women in Mining Awards, along with Coal & Allied's Pathways4Girls interactive forum, which will be held in Muswellbrook later this month.

Both events are held annually to provide opportunities for female high school students in the Hunter Valley to learn about careers in mining from a wide range of Coal & Allied women working in graduate, professional, trade and operator roles.

The Coal & Allied Women in Mining breakfast in Singleton attracted students from Singleton High School, St Catherine's Catholic College and Australian Christian College Singleton who heard from six female employees.

Australian Christian College Singleton student and participant Maddison Rudder said: "I came to this event last year and once again found it really valuable. I'm looking at studying engineering when I finish school so the highlight for me was being able to listen to the women's stories and talk to them afterwards. They had some really great tips to share."

Coal & Allied Human Resources Graduate Eliza O'Shea said: "I've really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to the students today about my experience in mining so far. I love working in the mining industry and I wanted the students to know that it's not as intimidating as many of them might think. There is plenty of support for more women to consider both traditional and non-traditional careers.

"I originally moved to Newcastle from Sydney to complete a business degree. However, while I was studying I undertook a human resources subject and realised that this was the path I wanted to take.

"I got into mining because I undertook an assessment piece that involved working on a mining project and it was here that I got to meet a HR specialist at Coal & Allied. This experience motivated me to apply for a part time HR officer role at Hunter Valley Operations, which I secured and resulted in moving to Singleton. After completing my degree, the company offered me a full time position as Human Resources Graduate through Rio Tinto's two-year graduate programme. I am currently in my final year of this programme and am really enjoying the work."

NSW Manager Community Relations Shannon Garcia said: "Coal & Allied is proud to host its 2nd Women in Mining breakfast after the success of last year's event. We're proud that this event along with our kindred Pathways4Girls interactive forum in Muswellbrook is a finalist in the Outstanding Initiative category at the NSWMC's awards. We're committed to increasing the diversity of our workforce and the wider industry and these events are another way we're trying to achieve this.

"They provide local female students with the opportunity to network and hear directly from women actually working in the industry, with the aim that we can help eliminate the misconception that a career in mining only equates to working in a mine pit and it's for males only.

"The mining industry is a diverse industry both in people and in careers and we hope that this event has provided the students with more information so that they may make better informed decisions about their future career choices."

NSW Minerals Council Chief Executive Officer Stephen Galilee congratulated Coal & Allied for being a finalist and said the two events complemented industry wide efforts to attract more women into the mining sector.

Mr Galilee said: "Events like our Women in Mining Network NSW regional forums and the International Women's Day Awards Dinner we're hosting in Sydney this week actively promote mining as an attractive career path to women. Whether you're a student or someone looking for a new challenge, NSW mining is an exciting and rewarding industry to be a part of, with big opportunities, big potential and big careers on offer."

About Coal & Allied

Coal & Allied has been part of the Hunter Valley community for more than 165 years and today manages three open cut coal mines. We aim to achieve shared value with members of the communities in which we operate. Our operations create not only economic value - but value for society by addressing communities' needs and challenges.

In 2011 our operations employed more than 2500 employees and over 1500 contractors, and spent more than $1.7 billion with close to 1300 businesses across NSW. To date our community development funds have invested more than $13 million in the Hunter Valley and have recommitted a further $4.5 million over three years commencing in 2012 to build stronger, smarter and more sustainable communities around our operations.


Website: www.riotintocoalaustralia.com.au/media
Email: naomi.jamieson@riotinto.com
Media Enquiries: 07 3625 4159 / 0457 824 672

Media release - Female high school students join Coal & Allied to celebrate women in mining [PDF: 60 KB]