QGC’s top female executive and elite athlete Cecile Wake took home the top gong – the Exceptional Woman in Queensland category at the 11th annual 2016 QRC/WIMARQ International Women’s Day Breakfast, held as part of the awards, at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Queensland Rail freight operator Aurizon took out another top honour – the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance Award.
Sponsored this year by Rio Tinto, the awards were part of the Queensland resources sector’s bid for at least 20 per cent women in non-traditional roles by 2020. They showcased the depth of female talent in Queensland’s resources sector, while providing industry ambassadors and mentors, said QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche.
“Attracting and retaining women in our sector will continue to take leadership from the very top and bold strategies, such as Aurizon’s new target of 30 per cent female employees by the end of 2019, is to be applauded,” Mr Roche said.
Other key attendees included MC Susan Mallan, the former General Manager of Senex Limited and Greg Lilleyman, Rio Tinto’s Group Executive, Technology and Innovation.
Six award categories were presented by the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations Grace Grace, QRC President Stewart Butel and WIMARQ Chair Heather Parry.
MEC was proud to attend the event and support general manager Maria Joyce – a WIMARQ committee member and mentor – who was a finalist in the Exceptional Woman in Queensland category.
Other awards categories included: Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources; Outstanding Queensland Tradeswoman/Operator/Technician; Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources and Exceptional QMEA Student in Queensland Resources.
Guest speakers included Janette Hewson, 2015 Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources and Director – Services, Supply Chain Management for Peabody Energy Australia and Li Cunxin, author of famed autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer and the Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet.
Janette inspired the audience to be more resilient and reinvent themselves, while Li’s inspiring speech about his amazing life journey moved people to tears. “It’s not how long you have lived – it’s about how you lived,” he said.
General Manager Maria Joyce said the Resources Awards for Women played a vital role in celebrating women in this industry. “MEC has always championed gender diversity and is strongly committed to empowering women in the resources sector.” Joyce said.