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Northparkes Mines celebrates International Women's Day

CMOC-Northparkes Mines is celebrating International Women’s Day this Wednesday, March 8 and is out to recognise the valuable contribution women make in the mining industry. 
Members of the Northparkes team will be at Cooke Park on Wednesday from 7am-9am with coffee and morning tea available for a gold coin donation. 
All donations will be passed on to Ochre Health for women’s health services.
In light of Wednesday’s event, Northparkes had a Q&A session with two of its influential female staff:
Michelle Wetherell, Superintendent - HR and Organisational Development
1. What are some of the highlights of your career?
I enjoyed representing Northparkes Mines at the 2015 Prospect Mining Awards where we were named Hard Rock Mine of the Year. More recently, I was promoted to the role of Superintendent HR and Organisational Development while on parental leave. During my career in the mining industry I have had the opportunity to travel to and support multiple project sites. For example, I worked in Jabiru in the Northern Territory.  The site’s connection to the community, traditional owners and their work location in the middle of Kakadu National Park is just amazing.
2. How would you suggest other women build a career in mining?  
Be open minded to opportunities that give you a foot in the door while ensuring the role excites you and fulfills your career goals. You must be willing to live in and explore regional communities. If you are relocating, spend as much energy creating new relationships within the community as you do at work. Establish respect by immediately calling out when an action or comment doesn’t sit right with you.
3. How have you found returning to work after taking parental leave?
It was challenging, but I am getting into a good rhythm now. There’s no time for procrastination in the work day or for hitting the snooze button when getting ready in the morning with a one year old. What has made it a smooth transition has been the flexibility to work part-time and the support of my team and Northparkes. I feel like I’m getting support from all sides!
Esther Bruce, Instrumentation Technician
1. Would you encourage other young women to become electricians?
Yes I certainly would. A career in this field can develop in many different directions, from wiring power in a house, to programing computer logic to automate a factory. You get a lot of job satisfaction from fault finding a problem and making electrical equipment work again or for the first time.
2. What are some of the highlights of your career?
Winning the 2016 NSW Mining Outstanding Tradeswomen Award was a major highlight, which led me to become a finalist for the 2016 National Outstanding Tradeswoman Award. I'm thankful for both the recognition and the opportunity to meet people at the government level of mining, as well as develop friendships with other women in similar careers from all over Australia. Another highlight was attending specialised instrumentation training at an instrument factory in Germany.
3. How would you suggest other women build a career in mining? 
Organise work experience at a mine to find out what it's like and what area of mining you would like to work in. Apply for an apprenticeship, traineeship or graduate program. Try to complete related subjects at school and TAFE, or compete WorkCover courses in your chosen field to improve your chance of obtaining a role in the industry.
Meanwhile Parkes woman and McGrath Foundation breast cancer nurse Dianne Green will speak at an International Women’s Day breakfast gathering in Forbes, at Lions Park, on Wednesday.
Dianne is also Parkes’ 2017 Citizen of the Year.

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