First female safety commissioner
BIG roles for mining's biggest minority
Wednesday 15 June 2016
INCOMING Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health in Queensland, Katherine du Preez says she looks forward to working with industry, government and the unions to resolve the safety challenges that confront the sector.
Ms Du Preez has made history for the second time in her career by becoming Queensland's first female Commissioner for Mine Safety and Health. Her other first was in South Africa where she became the first woman in that country to hold a mine manager's certificate of competency.
Ms Du Preez has a diverse background in the mining industry, having started her career in South Africa at a time when women working underground was technically illegal.
Despite the challenging start for a female mining engineer, she now has 16 years' experience in operational mines in South Africa and Australia.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said her selection follows a global search.
“She holds a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering and was identified as the best person for the job following a global recruitment process and consultation with industry and union representatives,” Dr Lynham said
“Mrs du Preez’s experience and expertise is welcome as government works with unions and industry to implement its five-point action plan to tackle the re-emergence of coal workers’ pneumoconiosis.”
Ms du Preez told media she wanted to see more women in mining.
"The more female faces we can attract in the mining industry, the more young women will see it as a career option," she said.
"I've never heard a young girl say 'I want to be a mining engineer.”
Mrs du Preez’s appointment follows mining engineers Julie Devine and Bryony Andrews last year becoming the first women on the Queensland Mining Board of Examiners.
However despite these achievements, women currently only fill around 10 percent of non-traditional roles in mining.
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