For Melanie, mining has long been a family tradition with a history that can be traced back to the Cornwall miners. Born in Broken Hill, Melanie spent a lot of time at Sovereign Hill as a child where her father was mine manager.
Melanie always wanted to be an engineer. She first studied chemical engineering, but vacation work soon introduced her to mining. She realised she wanted to be a mining engineer and mine manager. Melanie worked as a process engineer, and it was not long before she completed post-graduate study in mining engineering.
Melanie has challenged the norms and values in industry. She was the first woman to get her First Class Mine Manager’s ticket in South Australia. She has been a strong role model to other women in the mining industry, both in helping to establish AusIMM WIMnet in Victoria and showing that working operationally does not mean having to sacrifice time spent with family.
Melanie is currently General Manager of Costerfield, where she has been at the forefront of championing safe and successful mining of very narrow vein deposits. This has been in part due to her pioneering work in changing the pervasive authoritarian culture in industry, putting focus back on people and the role of companies within their communities. Melanie firmly believes that ‘it’s all about people, not just “community” or “stakeholders”.’ These values, in which ‘you do not give up on people’, have helped Melanie to create a supportive and flexible workplace that has a completely different feel to typical mine-sites.
Melanie is also a qualified leadership coach and has coached and mentored many new professionals in the industry and remains a strong supporter of regional AusIMM events and the wider local community.