Voting opens for Australian Mining’s Peoples’ Choice Award

Voting has now opened for the 2014 Australian Mining Peoples' Choice Award.

Celebrating the achievements of the people who have shown innovation and superior performance over the last 12 months, this is a chance for the Australian Mining audience to have their say.

The winner will be announced at the annual gala dinner being held at Dockside Pavilion in Cockle Bay, Sydney on the 24th of October.

It’s a competitive list of finalists this year!

Jo Corliss  – Rio Tinto’s Bengalla Mine

For her move from a cleanskin to supervisor in less than eight years, Jo Corliss has been nominated for this year's People's Choice award.

Corliss commenced as a cleanskin operator with Mining and Earthmoving Services (MES), and spent a period of time at Mt Owen before joining Bengalla as a full time employee five years ago. 

Corliss was trained as a step up Mine Monitoring Supervisor and was appointed in the role full time in 2012 and is one of two frontline supervisors working at the mine.  

Corliss was identified as a talent within our Mining Department as a Mining Technician due to her initiative and drive. Although Corliss enjoyed operating heavy equipment, her true passion lay in a leadership role where she was able to work in a fast paced, high stress environment, coordinating labour and resources.

She would often spend periods of wet weather or downtime in the Mine Monitoring Supervisor (MMS) office learning the ropes and assisting the MMS. 

Since that time, Joanne has undertaken modular training and supervisor training and was appointed a full time Mine Monitoring Supervisor in 2012. 

Since taking on the tole, Corliss has driven a large amount of productivity improvements.

Cassandra White  – Miner’s Promise

For her work in helping to build a support organisation for miners and their families through the not-for-profit organisation Miners' Promise, Cassandra White has been nominated for the People's Choice award.

Miners' Promise was established by those within the sector to provide an independent support agency for the men and women (and their families) employed within the resources industry. 

Individuals who have themselves experienced emotional and financial hardship or lost a loved one unexpectedly were the driving force behind establishing the organisation. 

The group works to support families in whatever it is they need in times of grief. This includes emotional, financial and/or pastoral support. 

White joined Miners' Promise in early 2011 as the inaugural executive director and worked to create a stable and sustainable future for the company which was struggling to find its financial footing. 

Using her high-level communication skills, White built the organisation's network by targeting mining CEOs, HR departments and mine site managers. 

She then organised to spend time at various sites to spread the Miners' Promise message to employees. 

Since joining Miners' Promise, White has helped to grow its membership base by over 1200 and has also garnered the support of over 70 companies.

Tim Lightfoot  – Safety MITS

Resigning from his job as a mechanic's apprentice paid off for Tim Lightfoot who went on to commercialise a world-first product and sell it into mine all over the world. 

Going from an apprentice to the manager of a world-wide technology company has seen Lightfoot nominated for Manager of the Year.

It was the brainchild of Lightfoot's business partner Kevin Cant while working on a Rio Tinto mine.  

TED has been designed to remove belly plates and undercarriage components with more efficiency and safety than ever before. 

"It does not matter if your machine is inside the workshop or broken down at the bottom of the pit TED can take it," Lightfoot said.  

The wireless Remote control allows personnel to work from a safe distance when removing heavy and awkward components.  

"By doing this you have removed the human element from underneath the equipment during critical lift tasks.  

"TED will not only save lives but substantial amount of time and money, by allowing maintenance to be carried out in the field or workshop more efficiently." 

Since the product's launch two years ago at AIMEX, more than 20 units have been sold.

Nathan Anderson – HVTC and Centennial Coal

For continually striving to furtherer his career in the mining industry through qualifications, Nathan Anderson has been nominated for the People's Choice award.

After finishing school, Anderson completed an apprenticeship in Light Metal Fabrication and gained a fulltime tradesman role. While Anderson enjoyed his trade, he felt he needed a career change and gained a warehousing traineeship with HVTC and Centennial Coal's Myuna Colliery. 

Anderson is nearing the end of the Certificate 3 Warehousing Operations Traineeship which he commenced during 2013 and was so intent on forging a career in the field that he enrolled at TAFE and is also completed a Certificate 4 in Purchasing.

Anderson managed full time work, fatherhood and footy coaching as well as additional study to achieve his goals of forging a career within the mining industry.

He hopes to one day grow beyond the position of a store person and become a Purchasing Officer. 

Anderson has been named one of five finalists for Indigenous Trainee of the Year in the upcoming 2014 NSW & ACT Group Training Association (GTA) Awards. 

The young father and footy fanatic is also one of 21 group training apprentices and trainees from around Australia that was invited to attend a Today's Skills; Tomorrow's Leaders leadership program in Canberra.

The leadership program, an initiative of employer association Group Training Australia (GTA), aims to help young future leaders to maximise their leadership skills and career development. 

"I'd like to promote a positive image for Indigenous men in my community and inspire other young Koori and Murri men to strive for excellence in the workplace," Anderson said.

Kym Clark – She's Empowered

An ex-coalmine accountant for BHP Billiton, Kym Clark saw there was a gap in the market for women's workwear and set about ensuring women could be comfortable in PPE.

The line, called Kym by She's Empowered, provides hi-vis everyday safety workwear and maternity uniforms for the growing number of women in the mining and resources industry.

Clark said she couldn't believe that there were no maternity options for women in the resources sector, and with a flair for fashion and a drive to empower women in typically male dominated industries, she set about making a positive change for women.

Since the arrival of first stock last November numerous companies including BHP Billiton, Glencore, Anglo American and One Steel have demonstrated their support towards the innovative workwear label. 

Anglo American's Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, Rebecca Capper, said Anglo American was excited to be the first global mining company to source personal protective apparel through She's Empowered.

After experiencing such a positive response to the initial She's Empowered designs Kym recently added two new designs to the collection – work trousers and a new women's cut hi-vis top.

Norman Moore

For his eight years' serving the mining industry in Parliament to now being an advocate through his PR agency, Norman Moore has been nominated for this year's People's Choice Award.

Moore served as WA's Minister for Mines during a period of unprecedented growth in the State's mining sector and drove many significant reforms for the industry.

From overhauling the states mine safety legislation after a spate of fatalities in 2008, to reforming the bond system, and introducing idea of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia, during his time as Minister Moor made significant changes which have proved particularly effective and well received by the mining industry. 

In his current role Moore continues to aid the development of the industry, providing strategic advice to Cannings Purple's mining sector clients.

His knowledge, consultative approach and strong leadership has contributed to a productive minerals sector in WA.

Bruce Hebblewhite

Industry and academia hold Professor Bruce Hebblewhite in high esteem as an academic who combines innovative and practical research, effective and inspiring teaching methods and demonstrated leadership and organisational skills. 

Under his leadership, the School of Mining Engineering, UNSW Australia is now internationally recognised for its excellence with strong enrolment numbers, research portfolio and a most impressive alumni roll.

Hebblewhite was also instrumental in the success of Mining Engineering Australia (MEA) which industry has recognised it has raised the standard of education, rationalising its delivery and ensuring its sustainability. 

Hebblewhite's prime focus is meeting the educational needs and training of the industry, ensuring universities continue producing high quality graduates to continue the growth and strength of the Australian mining industry.

Natasha Cann

Natasha Cann is the owner of Mining Mentors and Mining Mums, no-cost, confidential mentoring services to help women in mining and resources advance their careers.

"Mining Mentors" and "Mining Mums" began to evolve more than 10 years ago when Natasha was leading teams at multi-national resources and mining company where she saw the hesitation women had about pursuing their careers.

In response, she began mentoring women in her own time by developing a free services via Skype and face-to-face.

As a fourth generation miner with FIFO supervisory experience, Cann was well-placed to offer her know-how to women working within the sector.

Her services aim to help women in mining advance their careers by encouraging them to share advice, success and tribulations, and to identify their career and lifestyle goals.

Both programs foster talent by giving women working in the mining sector an avenue for open and honest communication.

Cann said she often receives calls or emails from women asking for advice but feeling they have no one to turn to.

Prospect Awards 2014: People’s Choice Award

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