State miners determined to drive diversity and inclusion efforts

  • Posted 23 August, 2022
  • Media Releases

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Click here for photo of QMIHSC 2023 Chair Larnie Mackay.

Queensland’s mining industry is going all in to challenge the status quo of the sector’s traditionally male-dominated workforce at the annual Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference (QMIHSC) held on the Gold Coast this week (21 – 24 August).

QMIHSC Incoming Chair for 2023, and the third female Chair in the conference’s 32-year history, Larnie Mackay said she had bold plans to drive diversity and inclusion efforts at the 2023 conference to ensure the sector’s workforce know that, no matter your nationality, gender, abilities or age, everyone belongs and has the right to feel safe and supported so they can do their best work.

“It’s time to celebrate our differences, as it is those differences that make us stronger, happier, healthier, safer and more productive as an industry,” Ms Mackay said.

“Queensland’s mining industry’s core value and commitment is the safety, health and psychological wellbeing of its workforce, where everyone who goes to work returns home safe and healthy.

“There is a big push across the industry to address incidents of bullying and harassment. This is not just an issue for the resources industry, this is an issue which must be addressed by all businesses and industries across Australia,

“Companies need to treat sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination like any other health and safety risk,

“That’s why I am pleased to hear from a cohort of presenters at QMISHC this week who are tackling this workplace culture issue head on as we commit to eliminating bullying and harassment in the sector.

This includes:

  • Dr Jacinta Buchbach (Head Respect at Work, Leadership and Development, In Safe Hands. Educators in Safety: Respect at Work) on “Respect at Work: Bystander Response and Prevention”;
  • Christine Sylvestre (Managing Director, Habit Safe) on “How Leaders Can Collaborate for Effective Behaviour Change – A Brain Science Innovation”;
  • Naomi Armitage (Director/Psychologist, Humanology Group) on “ISO 45003: Managing Psychosocial Hazards in the Workplace. What This Means for Your Business”;
  • Dr Bushra Afzal (Workplace Engagement Manager, Black Dog Institute in partnership with Safety Mate) on “Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces”;
  • Bobbie Foot (Head Health, Safety, Environment, BHP Mitsubishi Alliance) and Naomi Armitage (Director/Psychologist, Humanology Group) on “Setting the Foundation for a Speak Up Culture: Psychological Safety in Action”; and
  • Aaron Anderson (Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills) and Takara Raymond (Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills” on “World Class or Bare Pass: How do Queensland’s Mining Laws Protect Against Workplace Sexual Harassment?”.”

In 2020, Ms Mackay was announced the winner of the inaugural Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Women in Resources Maptek Technological Innovation award and then runner-up Queensland Resources Council (QRC) / Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) Resources Awards for Women in Technological Innovation.

These awards recognised Ms Mackay’s achievements in technological innovation in the resources industry, through her role in leading the development of the first electronic tablet device certified for unrestricted use in underground coal mining in Australia.

“These state and national awards fuel me with purpose to continue innovating across the industry in different ways,” Ms Mackay said.

“Not many people know this, but I am a proud mother of three amazing daughters, with my eldest daughter being a high dependent special needs person with an extremely rare chromosome abnormality.

“I see so many opportunities for special needs people within the industry, and I look forward to industry learning more about how we can tap into the vast skills and cultural opportunities these people can bring,”

At the conference’s awards gala dinner tomorrow Ms Mackay will toast to the success of the 2022 QMIHSC and announce plans to kick start planning for the 2023 conference.

“I look forward to working with the organising committee to ensure next year’s conference includes a variety of speakers and evidence-based case studies to showcase how a more diverse workforce will drive improved safety, health and wellbeing outcomes through a greater variety of voices within our industry and beyond,” Ms Mackay said.

“If we want our businesses to reflect our communities, markets and customers. It is through valuing our differences and embracing our diversity of thought that we will be able to achieve Zero Serious Harm, build value for our shareholders, create great jobs for our talented people and provide exceptional service and products for our customers.

“Together, we can continue on our sector’s mission to create a diverse and powerful workforce that enables us to understand our markets, innovate and deliver excellence.”

Media contact: Ellie Blumel – or 0448 122 948

The Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference is an initiative to promote health and safety in the Queensland mining industry. The four-day conference provides the industry with the opportunity to exchange information, network and foster proactive health and safety management techniques.

The conference boasts a full program of topical sessions, workshops, award presentations and a gala dinner and attracts a wide range of presenters willing to share their knowledge, expertise and insights into important health and safety matters in our industry.

Thank you to Anglo American (Principal Sponsor), Glencore, uvex Safety ANZ, Yancoal, Peabody Australia, Simtars, Komatsu, Mining and Energy Union Queensland and the many other sponsors and exhibitors who support the conference.