Chelsea McKavanagh - Sporting for success

From working at Glencore and studying Human Resources (HR) to competing in and coaching community sport. On or off the field, Mount Isa Mine’s Chelsea McKavanagh is working hard and playing fair.

Born and raised in Mount Isa, Chelsea McKavanagh is no stranger to the resources industry. Coming from a mining family, she grew up hearing, seeing and learning the ins and outs of mining life from her father, Jamie McKavanagh, who has over 25 years of mining experience at Mount Isa Mines.

That experience saw Chelsea develop a strong set of social values, with a focus on family and community, underpinned by the knowledge that there are opportunities for her to grow her career and her passions in Mount Isa, the place she calls home.

Having graduated from high school in 2015, for over five years now, Chelsea has been relishing the opportunity to work across our operations.

Now working as a HR Officer, Chelsea commenced in May 2016 providing administrative support to the HR team, while also being the receptionist and friendly face of Mount Isa Mines.

Being a HR Officer is a rewarding job for Chelsea who enjoys engaging with employees across the business, providing them with advice in relation to our human resources policies, procedures and systems to support our workforce.

“I work across our complex Mount Isa operations with a focus on our Smelting and Refining areas so I’m always learning.”

Chelsea is a passionate and committed young woman, which shines through her work at the mines as well as in her commitments in the broader community.

Chelsea is dedicated HR professional committed to furthering her career through study.
Chelsea is the Treasurer and one of the coaches at the Mount Isa Wrangler’s Women’s Rugby League Club.

In her downtime, Chelsea is a skilled netball and rugby league player and a pioneer for women’s sport in Mount Isa, having been an advocate for many years in both of these sports.

“I began playing netball about 10 years ago and my most notable achievement was being involved in one of the first ever Queensland Secondary School Netball carnivals that Good Shepherd Catholic College ever participated in,” Chelsea says.

Having found it easy to participate in netball in Mount Isa, Chelsea was also keen to try her hand at rugby league but this proved to be difficult as a local female competition didn’t exist.

Despite the gender barrier and lack of access to the sport for women, Chelsea chose to tackle the challenge head on.

“I started playing rugby league casually in 2016 and unfortunately there were no pathways for girls or women to play league locally when I was in high school so we set out to change that,” Chelsea says.

Since 2016, Chelsea has been a staunch advocate for the local league and with support from Queensland Rugby League (QRL) has seen opportunities grow for women in North West Queensland to play representative football.

Her own playing fortunes have also flourished and Chelsea has since been selected for several representative teams, most notably the North Queensland Marlins Emerging side in 2018 and 2019.

“In 2019, we defeated two South East Queensland (Brisbane) teams at the State Championships and won the carnival for the first time in history. It was truly a memorable experience for everyone involved,” says Chelsea.

Chelsea is an advocate for equal representation of women in both the resources industry and in sport.
Chelsea has been playing netball for many years and umpires for the junior teams.

From Chelsea’s tireless commitment and effort in opening doors for women’s rugby league in Mount Isa, the fruits of her labour are now on show as she sits as Treasurer on the board of the first ever women’s rugby league club in the North West region − the Mount Isa Wrangler’s Women’s Rugby League Club.

“I’m proud beyond words, and we have such generous volunteers and supporters who have dedicated their time over the last few years to get us to where we are now.”

“I cannot thank these people enough for working alongside us to grow the game in Mount Isa.”

“We still have a lot of work to do but we aim to ultimately build a pipeline for girls and women in Mount Isa to be able to play rugby league from the junior level all the way through to seniors,” Chelsea says.

Chelsea’s commitment to promoting gender equality carries over to her work in the mining industry.

“Representation of females in the mining and resource sector is really important too as gender diversity in the workplace has been shown to increase innovation and productivity.”

“It is imperative to not only the success of these industries as a whole but also to the success of generations to come.”

“My parents have led by example and worked hard to provide my sisters and I with every opportunity to succeed in life. To them I am forever grateful,” says Chelsea.

As Chelsea prospers in the workplace and on the field, it is easy to see that no matter where her dreams and future roles take her, her sporting nature, community values and strong work ethos will always see her striving to succeed.