Cate Sims, a specialist in aboriginal relations with Rio Tinto, has won the 2014 NSW Mining Outstanding Woman of the year award.
Last night’s Women in Mining industry awards showed that mining companies around NSW strongly support increasing the number of women in the industry, with representatives and entrants from all the big miners flocking to the Sydney Marriott Hotel for the gala ceremony.
The award was given for her tireless efforts to break down employment barriers and promote diversity in the NSW mining industry.
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said that Cate has been promoting and implementing initiatives to improve diversity in the NSW mining industry for over eight years.
“She is the leading individual in indigenous affairs and engagement for Rio Tinto and for our industry and a most deserving winner,” Galilee said.
Cate’s work through the Aboriginal Community Development Fund supports school programmes in the Hunter and has seen young Aboriginal women strive for professional careers and emerge as strong representatives of their school and wider community.
Cate’s work, in conjunction with the Aboriginal Community Development fund has seen her support school programs in the Hunter Valley, to inspire and assist young Aboriginal women in achieving professional career goals to become strong representatives and positive role models for the wider community.
“I would like to thank the judges, this is a very brave move on their part,” Cate said.
“Giving me this award shows that they are looking at achievement and leadership in a broader sense, that they are not taking a narrow view of the award, that we can show real leadership in this industry without becoming a general manager or a leader of operations.
“It shows that you can be a leader and be recognised in any field, at any level of the business,” she said.
“This award recognises the commitment that Rio Tinto has made to a body of work that requires vision, time and patience to realise.
“I hope that my award will encourage and inspire to say that they too can demonstrate the qualities of leadership and passion and be recognised.
“I’m elated to win and I’m extremely proud that my work is being validated in this way… It feels fantastic to win this award, because it shows the value of the work that I have done and will keep doing for my company, the mining industry and the communities where we live and work.”
Winner of the Aspiring Star Award Abbey Sheridan, a technical services vacation student for Coal Assets Australia at Glencore, was recognised as a young woman who shows the potential to become a future innovator.
Abbey has been the vice president of the AusIMM for the past two years, and is an ambassador for the industry,
Peabody Energy mining engineer Alice Sila was the winner of the Rising Star awards for her successes in the industry, and role as the Peabody Energy graduate of the year.
The outstanding initiative awards went to Theiss, to recognise their initiatives to attract and retain women in the industry.
Theiss have set a target beyond 20 per cent for female employment and participation in the industry by 2020.