Ali is an Organisational Psychologist and the Managing Director of Perth-based consulting firm Metisphere, which she founded in 2010. Her clients are major mining companies. As an organisational psychologist, Ali's job is to create people-focused business growth.
In 2011, Dr Burston developed a mentoring program for Women in Mining and Resources WA (WIMWA). The program fosters long-term, supportive relationships between participants, industry and surrounding communities. Between 2011 and 2019, 700 women in the WA resources sector participated in the WIMWA Mentoring Program.
Dr Burston's mentoring program is the gold standard in the mining industry. Her achievements include creating more than 50 mentoring programs across Australia, which have had more than 1,400 resources industry graduates.
In 2017, Dr Burston began working to address mental health literacy. She created a psychometric assessment tool to measure mental health literacy for the mining industry as part of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety's new FIFO Code of Practice. It's an Australian-first project designed to identify psychosocial hazards and risks.
Brendon Brodie-Hall — Rio Tinto
When Brendon started as Manager Rail Logistics & Optimisation, he was surprised that only one-in-five employees in the team were women. Charged with running the world's first automated heavy haul railway, Brendon decided to review the recruitment processes to identify why more women weren't being appointed to train controller roles.
He discovered many female applicants weren't making the shortlist because they didn't perform well in competencies that weren't even relevant to the role but had otherwise the potential to be outstanding train controllers. Brendon made changes to de-emphasise less relevant competencies in the recruitment process and prompted the team to contact female candidates who had applied previously and been unsuccessful.
To attract additional female candidates, Brendon worked with the recruitment team to develop a targeted advertising campaign to capture the hearts and minds of women who would never previously have considered train control as a career option. The campaign proved very successful and resulted in two-thirds of the intake from the campaign being women.
Brendon has since moved to a new role as General Manager at Rio Tinto's Dampier Salt Operations where the aspiration of achieving 50 per cent female leadership is within reach. Two out of the three operational sites currently have 50 percent female leaders.
Vanessa Bullock — Woodside Energy
Vanessa completed several internships at DOF Subsea Australia and BP Australia before joining Woodside in 2014 as a graduate mechanical engineer. She has succeeded in a range of diverse, challenging roles at Woodside in offshore mechanical, subsea production and onshore rotating equipment.
Following the graduate program, Vanessa delivered two of the most complex subsea pigging projects Woodside has ever had, including taking a project from tender to execution. She is a subject matter expert in Subsea and Pipelines. Vanessa now works at Karratha Gas Plant as a System Engineer, where she is an acting Maintenance Engineering Team Lead.
Vanessa is a strong advocate for gender equity and Indigenous reconciliation and has volunteered for several Indigenous committees and events. She is also passionate about female education and has presented at all-girls high schools throughout Perth on her positive experiences in the oil and gas industry to encourage young girls to consider STEM career pathways.
Ivy Chen — CSA Global
Ivy leads the CSA Global risk committee, assessing projects for financial, operational, environmental, logistical and sovereign risk. She started her career in the resources sector in 1987, working at mines in Leonora, Southern Cross, the Pilbara and central China. She has led mine geology and resource estimations teams in China and Australia.
Ivy was the national adviser for geology and mining for the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (Australia's federal corporate regulator) for six years and heavily involved in the updates of the 2012 JORC Code, the 2015 VALMIN Code (the Australian code for technical assessment and valuation of mineral assets) and the ASX listing rules for mining and oil and gas. She was awarded a public service Australia Day medal in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding services for this work.
Ivy was also the first woman to Chair the Perth Branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM) in 2013 and 2014. She is a current director of the AusIMM nationally.
Ivy has been a Women in Mining WA mentor for women in the mining industry since 2013, and for at-risk high school students with the Smith Family, through their iTRack online mentoring program.
Nevinia Davenport — Thiess
Senior Advisor - Diversity, Inclusion & Community
Since joining Thiess in May 2017, Nevinia has helped create meaningful and lasting change in the workplace through influence and advocacy. Through her networking activities with Indigenous organisations, she has contributed to the increase in the number of Indigenous applicants for roles offered by Thiess in the resources sector.
More difficult to quantify is the impact Nevinia has made on the hundreds of students she has met at the schools, career fairs, university expos and TAFE events attended on behalf of Thiess. Sharing stories about the resources sector and its people and raising awareness of the opportunities on offer has undoubtedly helped lift female enrolment numbers in STEM subjects and attract more women to the resources sector.
Nevinia has also activated a community engagement program, linking the business with the communities in which it operates. This has included developing programs with local WA high schools, engaging with Traditional Owners, attending career expos and coordinating and promoting charity drives for underprivileged communities.
Nevinia puts diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything she does. Her strong communication skills and ability to create opportunities have empowered others to work with her to influence sustainable change.
Briohny Evans — FMG
Superintendent Fixed Plant Planning
Briohny had always aspired to be an electrician, however at school her teachers convinced her to choose a more conventional career pathway in hospitality rather than undertake an electrical pre-apprenticeship. She eventually commenced her electrical apprenticeship in 2001 at Cargill Salt.
Following the completion of her apprenticeship, Briohny joined BHP in 2005 as an Electrical Tradesperson and was the only female electrician in the department. She mentored a diverse group of apprentices, including young women. This can-do attitude made her an attractive candidate for the role of Electrical Team Leader and she was promoted to this position in 2009. Briohny was the first woman to be appointed to a supervisor role at BHP's Nelson Point operations. Her willingness to learn then paved the way for her to become a Shutdown Coordinator.
In 2012, Briohny began her journey with Fortescue Metals Group in Port Hedland as Maintenance Planner and Scheduler. In 2017, when Fortescue's ore processing facilities were centrally integrated, Briohny and her family relocated to Perth and she began a position as electrical planner. After only six months, Briohny was promoted to Maintenance Planning Superintendent for Christmas Creek. Today, Briohny is the only female in a superintendent and/or above leadership role in the maintenance discipline across Fortescue.
Allison Fuller — BHP
Allison embarked on her career as an electrician as a 17-year-old in 2004. After completing her electrical apprenticeship, she commenced an apprenticeship as a refrigeration mechanic. Halfway through, Allison fell pregnant, but continued to work and finish her studies. She finished her third year TAFE course when she was 35 weeks pregnant.
After returning to work, Allison completed her second trade in installing large solar systems, before starting her own electrical/refrigeration business. She joined BHP in 2017 as a High Voltage Electrician and a year later, successfully applied for a secondment as a Maintenance Supervisor in BHP's housing team. Allison has introduced several safety and productivity improvements within the team and has also invested time in supervising and mentoring the electrical apprentices.
Allison is also involved in championing inclusion and diversity at work, participating in the local Child Care Working Group, and looking for opportunities to leverage increased female participation by working on initiatives to address childcare shortages in Port Hedland.
Elizabeth Gaines — FMG
Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth was elected to Fortescue Metal Group's (FMG) Board of Directors in 2013, becoming the company's first female director. In 2017, she became Fortescue's Chief Financial Officer and in February 2018, was appointed Fortescue's third chief executive.
As the first female CEO of a major Australian mining company and one of three female CEOs of ASX50 companies, Elizabeth is in a unique position to encourage, promote and advocate for women in resources and corporate Australia more broadly.
Ms Gaines is focused on leadership development, retention of female talent and ensuring that women are encouraged to progress to executive positions so that there is equal representation in senior roles across corporate Australia.
Since her appointment, Elizabeth has actively encouraged building a greater pool of female talent in the resources sector, particularly in the trades, and promoting practical measures to support women in the workplace. She believes the conversation on gender equality in the resources sector must involve both men and women, by also encouraging and providing male employees with the same opportunity to access initiatives such as paid parental leave and flexible working arrangements.
Elizabeth is a strong advocate for Fortescue's Aboriginal training programs including the Vocational Training and Employment Centre program which provides training for a guaranteed job and champions aspiring Aboriginal leaders through Fortescue's CEO for a Day initiative. Through the Billion Opportunities program, Fortescue has also supported the next generation of female business owners by developing the capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses.
Rishelle Hume — Chevron Australia
Manager, Aboriginal Employment Strategy
Rishelle is the Manager of Aboriginal Employment Strategy at Chevron Australia with more than 25 years' experience in Aboriginal engagement, ranging from employment, education, justice and health. As a proud Noongar woman, Rishelle has devoted her working life engaging and attracting Aboriginal talent to ensure all people have the same opportunities in life.
Rishelle has received local and national awards for her efforts towards the advancement of Aboriginal people, including the 2016 Western Australian of the Year Award - Aboriginal Category; as well as a Member of the Order of Australia AM division in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours list. Rishelle also carried the baton for a 400m stretch in the Queen's Baton Relay in 2018.
Last year, Rishelle was inducted into the WA Women's Hall of Fame for service to theAboriginal community. She also received an honorary award of Doctor of the University of ECU for her inspirational leadership and dedication to the advancement of Aboriginal people through her creation of education pathways to improve career development and employment opportunities, whilst enhancing and preserving Noongar culture.
Rishelle's vision is to create a future for her people where there is no longer the need to talk about closing the gap, because there will be no more gap to close.
Polly Mahapatra — Chevron Australia
Completions Management System Coordinator
Polly always knew she wanted to work in oil and gas, likening subsea engineers to 'ocean astronauts'. Throughout her childhood, Polly idolised her father and his stories of subsea pipelines and structures; she was engaged and interested in complex problem solving from a very young age, which shaped the subjects she eventually chose in school. Polly was the only girl in her high school physics class and remembers a peer asking her, "What is a girl doing trying to learn physics?" She took it upon herself to prove to him that girls can become engineers, and soon found herself at UWA embarking on a new journey of Civil Engineering, majoring in Offshore Systems Design.
In 2015, she successfully obtained a graduate civil engineer position at Chevron Australia and her first project was on a pipelay vessel for the Wheatstone Project. Polly's introduction to oil and gas was trial by fire with a long, 28-day stint offshore as the only woman aboard a 250-person vessel. She was even mistaken for a nurse, and once asked whether she was. "old enough for work on a vessel".
After a year working offshore for the Wheatstone project, Polly joined the Commissioning and Start-Up team for Gorgon LNG on Barrow Island. Following a full-time move back to Perth, she now works as a Systems Completion Engineer in the Gorgon Stage 2 project and is completing a Masters in Commercial and Resource Law from UWA.
Keren Paterson — Trigg Mining
Keren is an accomplished and recognised leader in the mining industry, a mining entrepreneur and company director. She is the founder of ASX Listed, WA sulphate of potash explorer Trigg Mining and is a non-executive director of drilling company JSW Australia and Intelligent Drilling Applications and Technology (IDAT).
Keren has raised millions of dollars for exploration in WA and has successfully led teams from greenfields exploration discovery through feasibility studies, mine development, operations management and international corporate transactions across a broad range of commodities including base, precious, energy and agricultural minerals.
Keren's drive and determination are evident in her recently delivering one of just a handful of resources IPOs this year and in a commodity not yet produced in Australia. Through Trigg Mining, she intends to produce a naturally occurring essential mineral fertiliser for global food security, using sustainable mining practices and solar evaporation.
Keren was awarded the Telstra WA Young Business Woman of the Year in 2005.
Kathryn Serjeantson — Rio Tinto
Development/Drill & Blast Superintendent
Kathryn commenced her mining career with Rio Tinto Iron Ore (RTIO) as an engineering graduate in 2012 and was performing a number of simultaneous roles within months. She progressed through multiple technical disciplines before becoming a technical specialist in Drill and Blast, and in 2015 was appointed Alternate Quarry Manager. Her aptitude was rewarded with a promotion to Senior Engineer.
Kathryn is now the Superintendent of Development/Drill and Blast. She leads a multi-functional team of 150 operators, a multi-million-dollar budget and is the youngest Superintendent at Greater Hope Downs (HD1).
Now considered a technical expert in Drill and Blast, Kathryn's knowledge has been used to shape the drill and blast standards across the Pilbara. As a Senior Engineer, the initiatives developed by her team have reduced costs and have since been replicated globally. In 2019, HD1 began the transition to automation. Kathryn has played a critical role in converting HD1 equipment and infrastructure to enable the transition to an "intelligent mine", as well as managing the process to ensure it was a people-focused transition to automation.
Jennifer Ward — Newmont Goldcorp
Haul Truck Operator
Jennifer spent the early part of her career working as an education assistant, with a focus on special needs education. After 18 years in education, she felt it was time for a change and applied for Newmont Goldcorp's Gnaala Indigenous Work Ready Program, a recruitment strategy designed to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation at the company.
Jennifer recalls a question during the initial interview for the program, asking her, 'where she saw herself in five years' time' and her response was to be in a supervisory role. Fast-track to five years later and Jennifer is now a Haul Truck Operator, a Crew Trainer and a Step up Supervisor. As a Step up Supervisor, Jennifer has responsibility for 52 employees and builds capability within the team through coaching and mentoring crew members.
Jennifer is well respected by the Aboriginal community at Newmont Goldcorp Boddington and has served as a mentor to many Aboriginal people working on site. She is also the co-lead and co-founder of the Moorditj Koodas Business Resource Group (BRG) on site, which helps drive Newmont's diversity and inclusion objectives and supports the delivery of Newmont's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) through events, mentoring, communication and training.