Women on the march to Queensland resources sector

  • Posted 20 January, 2021
  • Media Releases

Wednesday 20 January


Links to full list of finalists plus photos and videos


Audio grabs by QRC Chief Executive, Ian Macfarlane


They come from all over Queensland but have one key thing in common—a record of exceptional performance in the resources sector.

These are the women selected as finalists in the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) 2021 Resources Awards for Women.

And, there are more or them to choose from than ever.

There was a 25 percent increase in the number of women employed in Queensland’s resources sector—from 5,472 to 6,841 in 2019-20—compared with the previous year.

Added to that, the number of women employed in Queensland’s resources sector has increased by 52 percent over the past five years.

The award winners will be announced at the 16th annual QRC/WIMARQ International Women’s Day Breakfast on 10 March at the Royal International Convention in Bowen Hills, presented by Anglo American.

The event will be hosted by award-winning Australian journalist and television presenter Jennifer Byrne, and the keynote speaker is recently appointed QUT Chancellor and resources industry leader Dr Xiaoling Liu.

This year’s finalists hail from Gladstone, Brisbane, Mount Isa, Moranbah, Airlie Beach, Mackay and the Sunshine Coast (finalist details and photos below).

Amongst the 14 women to vie for six awards across the sector are CEOs, legal counsels, general managers, drillers, project leads and leading hands.

Add to that longwall electrical coordinators, business analysts, procurement managers and culture and inclusion specialists and you get some idea of the diversity of opportunities women are embracing in Queensland’s resources sector.

And the sector is embracing them right back.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the exceptional result of the recent member survey meant that over the past 12 months there’s been a three percent jump in the proportion of women employed in resources, which was the largest ever annual percentage increase and shows the industry is moving in the right direction.

Mr Macfarlane said the work of the QRC’s education arm, the Queensland Minerals and Education Academy (QMEA), was making an impact on female and Indigenous job participation rates in resources.

“The QMEA was set up to encourage high school students to consider a career in resources by exposing them to real-world mining experiences and school-based skills training, with an emphasis on encouraging diversity and inclusion across our workforce,” he said.

“To say this initiative is going well is an understatement.

“The QMEA has exceeded all of our expectations and we now have 80 schools across Queensland involved, with more looking to come on board, and an increasing number of female and Indigenous students taking part in our sought-after programs.”

Finalist of the QMEA Exceptional Female Student will be announced soon.

WIMARQ chair Kellie How said Queensland’s annual Resources Awards for Women had sparked similar events in other states, culminating in the 2014 launch of a national awards event.

“Many of our state winners have gone on to win a national award, which demonstrates the quality of our candidates and the level of excellence being achieved right here in Queensland,” she said.

“Our awards event is usually a sell-out so I encourage anyone who wishes to attend to book their ticket or table as soon as possible.

“We will also live-stream the event and follow-up panel debate on women in leadership to simultaneous breakfasts in regional centres.”

To register for the QRC/WIMARQ International Women’s Day Breakfast and follow-up debate on women in leadership visit www.qrc.org.au/events/


Media contact: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770 893