24 September 2010

University of Queensland alumnus Melanie Gordon has recently been awarded the Queensland Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the mining industry.

The UQ Mechanical Engineering graduate was the first woman appointed as Maintenance and Engineering Manager at BHP Billiton in an Australian operation, and the youngest woman appointed to an operational management role in BHP Billiton worldwide.

Working in a predominantly male dominated industry, Ms Gordon said that she was very honoured to be recognised for her work and said that it was like a dream come true.

“This award will allow me to share my passion in mining and engineering and is a good opportunity to show other women that it is possible to achieve anything if you dream big,” she said.

It all first started for Ms Gordon when she saw an engineering recruitment poster for a mining company posted on one of the noticeboards at UQ, and applied to do vacation work with the company.

“If I had not applied for the work experience, I do not believe that I would have started my career so easily in the mining sector,” Ms Gordon said.

Ms Gordon believes that diversity in the mining industry is important and she strongly encouraged more women to join the sector.

“Diversity is a good thing as it leads to better decision making and a more rounded approach to business.

“I really hope that my award will encourage more women to consider starting their career in the resources sector and benefit from what this industry can provide,” she said.

Ms Gordon is currently one of 10 members of BHP’s Asset Management Council, which is responsible for the strategic direction of maintenance at its Queensland coal mines and manages 164 people who
maintain the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) underground Broadmeadow mine.

She is also a recipient of the 2008 Queensland Resources Council's Resources Award for Women.

The Telstra Business Women’s Awards is set up to recognise, reward and celebrate the achievements of inspirational women in the country.

Further information on the Telstra Business Women’s Awards can be found at www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com

Media: Ms Izzy Koh (07 3346 7696, i.koh@uq.edu.au)