Queensland salutes inspirational  women in resources

BRISBANE-BASED engineer Jo-Anne Dudley, whose job description includes regular commutes to Mongolia, has been named Queensland’s Exceptional Woman in Resources for 2018.

Ms Dudley, who is the senior manager for strategic mine and resources planning with Rio Tinto, has worked in underground mines throughout Australia, Africa, the USA and Mongolia. 

A mother of two, Ms Dudley moved her family from Brisbane to Vancouver in 2010 to work on a feasibility study for the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. Now based back in Brisbane, she travels regularly to Mongolia and manages 30 people across three locations: Brisbane, Ulaanbaatar and the Oyu Tolgoi mine.

Ms Dudley has been a regular guest lecturer in Caving Studies at the University of British Columbia, and chaired the voluntary group Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) in 2008 and 2009.

A member of the University of Queensland Women in Engineering Initiative Advisory Board, Jo-Anne Dudley helps promote the entry of women into engineering, supports them at university and prepares them for post-university life.

“To ensure that not only the strongest survive those early, and often lonely years, I am a passionate participator in the WIMARQ/QRC mentoring program having mentored four wonderful women in resources over the past three years,” Ms Dudley said.

Ms Dudley was only the second woman in New South Wales to gain an underground mine manager certificate and is one of only two females in Rio Tinto as a designated ‘competent person’ to sign off on reports of reserves and resources under the Joint Ore Reserves committee (JORC) code.

The annual Resources Awards for Women, organised by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and WIMARQ, were presented by Queensland Minister for Women Di Farmer at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 8.

More than 1,000 people attended, including about 450 watching via the internet in Moranbah, Mount Isa, Blackwater, Curragh Mine, Cannington Mine and Rockhampton.

“These awards play a pivotal role in our sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to our workforce,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“The QRC and its members have a goal of at least 20 percent women in ‘non-traditional’ roles — such as engineering, earth sciences, trades and operators — by 2020,” he said.

“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 are clear and we believe that women should have equal access to the rewarding and high-paying careers it offers.

“It’s been over a decade 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 risen from just six percent to 14 percent in our latest survey of members.

“I’m hopeful that with the increasing emphasis placed on gender balance by our members, such as BHP, which has a goal of gender parity in all occupations by 2025, we will reach our goal.

“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.”

Other category winners were:

Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance: Rio Tinto.

Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources: Holstein Wong, BHP.

Exceptional Tradesperson, Technician, Operator in Queensland Resources: Dannielle Weston, Hastings Deering.

Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources: Rachel Durdin, Rio Tinto.

Exceptional Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Student in Queensland Resources: Caitlyn Barnes, Moranbah State High School.

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