The response to Joanne Ufer’s open letter to the industry

Earlier this month we published Joanne Ufer's open letter to the industry urging them to stay safe.

It came in the wake of a series of fatal accidents on Australian mines that saw four people killed on site in the space of a fortnight.

Responding to this Ufer, the mother of one of the victims of the Pike River tragedy, penned an open letter to the Australian mining industry, urging them to stay safe and get home for Christmas.

The response has been amazing.

Below we have highlighted the affect the letter had, with the response from David Overall, CEO of Downer Mining.


On behalf of Downer Mining, could you please pass on my sincere thanks to Joanne Ufer for her open letter to the Australian mining industry last week.

Last Friday I had phone hook-ups with senior operational teams across our business to encourage them to discuss with their people the importance of staying focussed and keeping risk controls in place at work before, during and after the Christmas holidays. For each of the three sessions, I opened with parts of Joanne’s letter about her son Joshua, and the message has had a profound impact on those who participated. I have subsequently received multiple requests from our managers for a copy of the letter to use while briefing their teams.

Over the weekend, this information has rippled out to all parts of our organisation and has been taken up by some of our clients. While it has specific resonance for our underground operations, it has worked everywhere from blasting and tyre management through to open cut operations.

Joanne’s preparedness to frankly share Joshua’s story and her experience is helping our business, and more broadly our industry, and I thank her for it.


David Overall

Chief Executive Officer

Downer Mining

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