Raelene O’Brien

MAusIMM

After graduating with a Bachelor of Mining Engineering, Rae commenced a graduate program with Shell Coal. She subsequently accepted an offer as a Gas Drainage Engineer at Central Colliery before joining Centennial Coal as a Senior Mining Engineer. Not long after, Rae was promoted to Longwall Production Superintendent and then Technical Services Manager. In 2010, Rae joined Xstrata Coal (now Glencore) as Technical Services Manager for Ravensworth Underground. Her achievements and ability to drive improved performance resulted in her appointment as Group Manager Technical Services (South) for Glencore Coal Assets Australia. In this role, she is responsible for defining and driving technical principles, standards, and deliverables for technical services across all NSW operations.

As the first female in NSW to gain a Second class Mine Managers Certificate, Rae was distinguished by her choice to seek operational exposure as an underground mining technician, which allowed her to gain the necessary experience required for gaining her statutory qualifications. Rae has challenged the paradigm of women being unwilling or unable to perform such frontline roles in the underground coal mining industry.

In 2016 Rae was acknowledged as NSW’s Exceptional Woman in Mining. Since then, she has participated in the following programs:

  • Project Lead School Tours Program for the Upper Hunter Mining Dialogue, which involved 1200 school students. It showed pupils the full mining process, so they could make their own minds up about the impacts and the positive aspects of mining.
  • Mine Manager’s Association Committee Member.
  • ACARP – Underground Committee member, as well as subcommittee member on several task groups.
  • AusIMM WIMnet NSW Mentoring Program – mentor for three years running.
  • NSW Minerals Council – featured in various advertisements to support mining and clean coal technologies.

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