Oct 15, 2020

AMMA awards shine light on outstanding initiatives

AMMA awards shine light on outstanding initiatives Thiess general manager health, safety and security Mark Bartlett, senior advisor community, diversity and inclusion Jordana Sawtell and Allies treasurer Gabe Williams accepting the award for the Diversity and Inclusion category.

Two initiatives with ties to Queensland’s coalfields have staked their place in the 2020 AMMA Industry Awards.

The Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA has continued its tradition of celebrating the industry’s high achievers, brightest stars, future talent and leading workforce initiatives – albeit a little differently in COVID times.

Winners of the 2020 AMMA Industry Awards were announced and celebrated through a four-week online campaign, culminating this week.

Thiess was awarded for developing Allies, the company’s first LGBTIQA+ support and engagement network in Australia and Chile.

Mining engineer James Cowin.

That initiative was spurred by mining engineer James Cowin after an on-site talk in Central Queensland with a colleague thinking of leaving the mining industry as they didn’t feel they would be accepted for being gay.

“For whatever role I played, I’m proud to say that person is still working in the mining industry to this day and loving every minute of it,” Mr Cowin said.

“That’s where the idea of Allies first started – a network reinforcing that everyone deserves to be treated with respect and always feel safe to be themselves.”

New Hope Group has been recognised for the success of its ‘Finishing Well’ program as its Jeebropilly Mine reached end of life late last year.

“Mine closure has many aspects and if not executed well, has the potential to adversely impact the business, environment, community, employees and other stakeholders in varying ways,” New Hope Group general manager of West Moreton Operations Trent Knack said.

The final day of operations at Jeebropilly.

AMMA chief executive Steve Knott praised the high level of award nominations in 2020 across four categories relating to key workforce-related areas of the industry.

“Without fail, the awards attract an exceptional calibre of nominations each and every year and 2020 was no different, leading to a truly outstanding set of winners,” he said.


Mental Health & Wellbeing Award – Northern Star Resources

Northern Star has been awarded for providing innovative mental health support, reducing stigma and uniting its people through a range of programs, resulting in increased workplace conversations and story-sharing. The gold miner’s range of initiatives have made a positive impact on its workplaces and employees, with the company rising to the challenge of proactively prioritising sustainable long-term outcomes. Northern Star has normalised mental health through a multi-layered approach, led by its flagship Mental Health First Aid Program, which has seen more than 300 employees becoming accredited Mental Health First Aiders. More here

Workforce and Workplace Relations Innovation Award – New Hope Group

New Hope Group has been recognised for its “Finishing Well” program, which has innovated the way mine closures are managed. When the company was presented with one of the industry’s most challenging periods as its Jeebropilly Mine reached end of life in late 2019, New Hope Group was determined to ensure it was a positive phase for all stakeholders. The company implemented a plan that would not only be embraced by its workforce, but set them on the path for success once the mine closed. Its unified path towards mine closure was guided by “Finishing Well”, tailored specifically to balance the needs of the business and its people, while addressing some of the greatest identified risks in staff retention and culture. More here

Diversity and Inclusion Award (sponsored by Sodexo) – Thiess

Thiess was awarded for developing Allies, the company’s first LGBTIQA+ support and engagement network in Australia and Chile. Allies created a workplace network advocating and facilitating a culture of inclusion and respect, regardless of sex, sexuality, gender and expression. Judges were impressed with how the network was successful in creating awareness and its understanding of diversity and inclusion matters, and for challenging bias, stereotypes and intolerance. Allies was created to align with Thiess’ diversity and inclusion strategy, with judges also commending how the program was both employee-led and backed by the executive leadership. More here

Future Leader Award – Ryan Cobb (Woodside Energy)

Judges were impressed with Mr Cobb’s range of accomplishments, displaying leadership traits beyond his years. Not only has Ryan become Australia’s first indigenous master mariner, he is also a passionate role model and mentor who is heavily involved in working with young Indigenous people, encouraging them to strive for a career in the marine industry. As a Marine Operations Adviser with Woodside Energy, Mr Cobb can command any ship of any size in any ocean in the world. He now uses his experience and journey to inspire others to explore the rewarding career opportunities in the sector. More here

Australia’s first Indigenous Master Mariner, Ryan Cobb from Woodside.