Jan 14, 2021

Award winner pays it forward with gift of knowledge

Award winner pays it forward with gift of knowledge Jo Best and Melissa Jorgensen from Hastings Deering.

She won an award for helping to create more flexible and inclusive workplaces in the resources sector, so it was almost a reflex action that Jo Best decided to ‘pay it forward’ and donate the major prize to a colleague.

The Hastings Deering engineering and customer support executive manager was named as the Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources in the 2020 Queensland Resources Awards for Women.

With it came a $32,000 professional development scholarship awarded by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

With an MBA already under her belt, and in the spirit of promoting diversity, Ms Best decided to ‘re-gift’ the scholarship to all female colleagues across the Hastings Deering network.

“The calibre of the applicants was so great; we were also able to announce a joint scholarship between Hastings Deering and AIM for a 12-month Graduate Certificate in Business Administration,” she said.

Mackay’s Continuous Improvement project manager Melissa Jorgensen will use the MBA to add to her Bachelor of Learning Management and says the opportunity will change the trajectory of her career.

For both Ms Jorgensen and Recruitment advisor Carly Jeffries, the winner of the graduate certificate, the scholarship donation showed Ms Best’s commitment was not just company rhetoric.

“I thought that it truly was an incredible gesture from Jo and shows how passionate she is about the flexibility and inclusion program,” Ms Jorgensen said.

“At a time when her personal achievement was being recognised, she was thinking about others, which gives you a small indication about the leader she is.”

In the spirit of everyone being a winner the remaining applicants have been offered study assistance along with increased mentoring with ‘leader career dating’ where they spend 10 minutes in a one on one session with up to 10 leaders within the organisation and from then choosing one to spend further time with.

Ms Jeffries, who project manages the company’s annual apprentice and graduate recruitment campaigns, credits her late brother Daniel, with mentoring her on career development and the courage to make changes.

“Losing my brother taught me resilience,” she said. “Life does not stop, you move forward, or you get left behind. You make your own way and with the right support there really is no limit to what you can achieve.”