Born Robert Michael Norton, Rebecca Norton graduated from the School of Mines Ballarat (the forerunner of Federation University) as both a mining and a civil engineer, and then completed a degree in engineering at Melbourne University before beginning her working career at Mount Isa Mines.
Over the next decade or so, Rebecca continued to gain experience in several aspects of mining in Australia and Thailand. In 1979 she joined the Resource Technical Division of BHP, where she was able to use her extensive mining knowledge to assess the viability of a number of potential mining projects – particularly in the Kimberley and around Kalgoorlie.
The need for greater flexibility in her life saw Rebecca establish herself as a consulting mining engineer and allowed her to take on projects as diverse as tunnelling into the cliffs at Dinosaur Cove after the elusive Leaellynasaura Amicagraphica.
Rebecca was a member of both the AusIMM and the Institute of Engineers, becoming a Fellow of both in recognition of her services to the mining industry. She was on the boards of the Mineral Industry Consultants Association and the Victorian Chamber of Mines, as well as serving as a branch secretary of the AusIMM.
Ill health forced her retirement from mining activities in about 2000. Rebecca died in August 2017. A biography of this remarkable woman is under construction.