Queensland Metals’ Maryann Wipaki wins prestigious resources award
3 March 2021
Maryann Wipaki, General Manager Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) for Glencore’s Queensland Metals has won the award for Exceptional Woman in Queensland Resources at the prestigious QRC/WIMARQ Resources Awards for Women.
Maryann was one of three finalists recognised for exceptional achievement in the resources sector, including outstanding leadership, overcoming barriers and contributing towards resource communities.
Maryann grew up in Cloncurry in north-west Queensland where she developed a strong work ethic that gave her the determination to succeed in her personal life and work life.
Over her 25-year mining career Maryann’s core value has been the active pursuit of improving and sustaining safety performance. After commencing in the training department at Mount Isa Mines (MIM), she moved into safety where she was one of a small group of people to develop the first safety and health management system for Mount Isa Mines. This was the start of a momentous step-change for safety in mining, coinciding with the introduction of new mining legislation in Queensland, that influenced and cemented her career path.
When Maryann began her career in the resources sector in the mid 1990s, few women worked underground. “I realised the only way to be successful working in mining was to get my hands dirty”, she said. “Respect doesn’t come with title or gender, I needed to earn and harness respect. I saw it as an opportunity to prove my capabilities and help gain a higher trust of women within the workforce.”
“I can say with pride that 50% of my HSEC team are female and 47% are in leadership roles. This has been achieved by the efforts of the resources sector through educational institutions, career expos, school initiatives and our industry partners to inform women of all ages about the career opportunities in resources and the vital role our sector plays in people’s everyday life.”
“My ambition is to contribute to equality for all people within the resources sector, based on their achievements, experience and skills and continue to have diversity prevalent in all conversations. I work with incredibly talented and experienced people and aim to provide support and guidance and create a culture that allows them to succeed. If they succeed, our business succeeds.”
Matt O’Neill, Chief Operating Officer for Glencore’s Queensland and New South Wales Metals operations praised Maryann’s significant contributions to our business, providing guidance through some of the most challenging situations the company and industry has faced.
“As a senior leader in Glencore’s Metals business, Maryann manages a substantial portfolio with diverse and complex responsibilities in the areas of health and safety, environmental performance and community engagement across all of our operations”, Matt said. “Her extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of safety and health earned her a key position on the Mining Safety and Health Advisory Committee for the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. She provides guidance and recommendations to industry around improving the safety and health of mine workers and people affected by mining operations, effective risk control and mining competencies. She has been instrumental in the implementation of our current safety and health management system across our business.”
Maryann has worked internationally and plays an important role within Glencore’s global HSEC functions.
Having lived in the area all of her life, Maryann has long-standing engagement with the north-west Queensland communities through her commitment to numerous groups in the region and across Queensland. As part of her role, she oversees the Queensland Metals’ Community Assistance Program and Futures Fund decisions supporting the priorities and needs of our communities.
“Ensuring our operations maintain their social licence to operate is core to my role and a great source of passion and pride for me”, she said. “Living and working in a regional community, where my workplace is literally on the doorstep, I have a strong sense of commitment to ensure our community remains a safe and vibrant place to live and raise a family,” Maryann says.
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Notes for editors
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 90 commodities. The Group's operations comprise around 150 mining and metallurgical sites, oil production assets and agricultural facilities. With a strong footprint in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore's industrial and marketing activities are supported by a global network of more than 90 offices located in over 50 countries.
Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, oil and food processing sectors. We also provide financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities. Glencore's companies employ around 146,000 people, including contractors.
Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
About Glencore Australia
Glencore has operated in Australia for nearly 20 years and holds significant interests in a range of commodity industries across all mainland states and the Northern Territory.
Headquartered in Sydney, we are a major Australian employer, with 16,300 people working across industries that include coal, copper, zinc, nickel, oil and agricultural products.
During 2017 in Australia, Glencore contributed more than $15 billion to the regional, state and national economies. The most significant economic contribution came from core business activities: employing people, sourcing from local communities, and paying taxes to host governments.