Bilo woman claims mining award

DOIN' IT FOR THE GIRLS: Biloela engineer Heather Parry has won the 2011 Queensland Resources Council Resources Award for Women.
DOIN' IT FOR THE GIRLS: Biloela engineer Heather Parry has won the 2011 Queensland Resources Council Resources Award for Women.

HEATHER Parry has found a way to balance her roles of being a mum, a wife and the demanding job as project manager of the Dawson North Mine Project – no sleep.

Her push to increase the recruitment of women at the $157 million project near Moura has seen her win the 2011 Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Resources Award for Women.

Heather, employed by Leighton Contractors, described the win as "pretty amazing."

"I’m pretty overwhelmed," Heather said.

The 36-year-old, who lives in Biloela, said she was shocked to win the award given the other high calibre candidates.

Heather manages to balance the demanding role at Dawson North which includes recruitment, safety, technical issues, and reporting to Anglo America, with being with her daughter Caryss, in Year 1 at Redeemer Lutheran Primary.

Add in extra activities like Caryss’ pony club and husband Cameron lacing up the boots for Valleys Football Club, Heather certainly has a full plate.

"I think I may have to give up sleeping," she joked.

Heather said she entered the award after she nominated a colleague at Leighton for the award who told her she would nominate if she could nominate Heather.

Heather resisted at first.

"But she kept nagging me so I did.

"I’m splitting the loot with her."

Heather’s prize included $1000 and a hand made glass trophy, which she received at the annual Resources Awards for Women presentation ceremony, held as part of the QRC’s International Women’s Day breakfast at the Brisbane Sofitel last week.

Heather’s mining fleet at Dawson North boasts almost 20 percent women.

She said she did not think of herself as a role model for women until winning the award.

The civil engineer started in the construction industry and moved into the mining industry after working on mining infrastructure for Queensland Rail.

Heather enjoys working in the resources sector.

"I get to live in a regional place and not live in a city," she said.

Her push to recruit women has been while Dawson North went from four to 130 people.

She said she was looking at some family friendly roles for stay at home mums.

"There are some people that would be an asset to the team but they have kids they have to drop off and pick up at school.

"I want to work around that."

Leighton took on a two year contract to re-open Dawson North, closed by Anglo in January 2009, in November.

QRC Chief Executive Michael Roche said though female participation has risen from about 8 % to 15 % since 2005-06 in Queensland, they had set a new target of 20 percent women by 2020.

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