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Anne Heath shares Strategies for Personal Growth and Faciliating Collaboration

AusIMM
17 Jan 2024 · 850 words, 3 minute read

We recently spoke with Anne Heath, the Safety, Environment, Quality, and Training Manager at Byrnecut to delve into her remarkable achievements across a diverse and successful mining career.

In this interview Anne shares her insights into the qualities that fuelled her career advancement, offering valuable advice for aspiring professionals. She also delves into the strategies she employs to foster career excellence within her team, placing emphasis on the pivotal aspects of growth, collaboration, and the creation of a supportive atmosphere, and more.

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Starting as an Administrative Assistant at Byrnecut and now overseeing the new Kathleen Valley Lithium Project as the SEQT Manager, could you reflect on your journey and memorable achievments?

Embarking on my mining journey in Byrnecut's payroll department in 2012 after completing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Business Law, my career in the mining industry has followed an indirect and dynamic path.  

Driven to find a career I loved, where I was working infield, interacting with others and seeing the impact of my efforts, I pursued a postgraduate degree in Occupational Health and Safety whilst working on site fulltime in administration to maintenance planning.  

I graduated and moved into a Safety Traineeship where I gained hands on experience underground working on trucks, service crew, charge up, shot firing, drilling and training. I progressed through different underground and safety roles to ultimately becoming an Underground Safety Manager for Byrnecut, transferring to the Liontown Kathleen Valley lithium mine in 2023. 

What specific qualities do you credit for your career advancement at Byrnecut and what advice would you give to professionals aspiring to follow a similar path?

Byrnecut’s commitment to their people, recognising and building experience from within has allowed me to transition between roles.

In navigating my career path several strategies have played a crucial role in my career advancement:

1. Have a proactive mindset and constantly seek opportunities for growth and improvement.

2. Rather than waiting for chances to come your way, actively pursue additional learning and education opportunties or experiences.

3. Have a high level of adaptability. The mining industry is dynamic, there will always be good days and some not so good. Being open to new challenges, diverse roles and stepping out of your comfort zone will broaden your skillset and versatility.

4. Always seek out mentors. Having individuals who can offer guidance, share experiences, and provide constructive feedback is pivotal to success. I would not have achieved my career goals today if it wasn’t for the time and investment of those that have mentored me.

Reflecting on your own journey as a high achiever, how do you implement strategies to foster career excellence within your own team? How do you encourage their growth, facilitate collaboration, and establish a supportive system, drawing from the experiences that benefited you in your career journey?

Each team member contributes a separate set of skills and experiences. By cultivating an environment of respect, general courtesy and openness where everyone feels heard; you facilitate collaboration. 

Providing constructive feedback that is specific, actionable and focused on growth will help others to understand their strengths, areas for improvement and rationale behind decision making. 

Establishing a supportive and growth-oriented environment involves paying close attention, delivering timely constructive feedback, and offering opportunities for learning and collaboration. 

Always take note of the good and the bad experiences throughout your career, so that you can adopt the leadership qualities that you most appreciated when in a similar position. 

You are actively involved in Byrnecut's Women in Mining Event Series. Can you tell us what this is and what impact you hope it has on the overall work culture?

Participating in the Byrnecut Women in Mining Event Series allows me to share my career path and interview panels of women who work across different departments. Together, we create an open forum for questions, discussion, and exchanges of experiences for those interested in pursuing a career in mining. 

Being part of the event series allows me to connect with women, offering answers and assurances similar to what I sought during the early stages of my career. I aim to provide women with access, information, and the confidence to pursue the career path they desire. 

Can you share a memorable moment from your career or any of the Women in Mining panel discussions you've hosted? Have you experienced a personal "wow" moment where you realised the importance these conversations have for progressing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) space?

From charging development cuts on my birthday in knee deep water with a crew I now consider friends, to presenting at the Women in Mining event alongside the first Project Manager I had worked for in Byrnecut almost 10 years ago, every step of my career has been a pinch me moment. Now being able to laugh about my successes and failings in an open and relaxed forum with others looking to start their mining career is such a feel-good moment, as this wasn’t something that was available to me when I was making my own career changes. 

Anne Heath

SEQT Manager | Byrnecut
Anne completed her Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting and Business Law, before embarking on a transformative journey in the mining industry. In 2012, she joined Byrnecut's corporate office, starting in the Payroll department. Exposure to the company's insurance and injury management practices fueled a shift towards safety, marking a pivotal moment in her career.

Simultaneously working full-time, Anne pursued a postgraduate degree in Occupational Health and Safety at Curtin University. In 2015, she embraced the opportunity to become a Site Safety Administrator at the Jundee mine site, immersing herself in site-based work on an 8/6 roster. Transitioning through roles like Maintenance Administrator and Maintenance Planner, Anne gained expertise in workshop practices, heavy machinery, and scheduling.

Upon completing her studies in 2017, Anne entered Byrnecut’s Safety Trainee program, working underground on a 14/7 roster. Progressing from Truck Operator to Long Hole Driller, she became one of the few women on the crew, strengthening her understanding of safety practices and earning respect from site crews, clients, and stakeholders.

Her journey continued with roles such as Safety Trainer and Safety Coordinator, with Byrnecut supporting her professional growth through investments in Training, Assessing, and Investigation qualifications. In 2023, Anne proudly assumed the position of Safety Manager at the Kathleen Valley lithium mine, overseeing safety practices and reflecting a commitment to continuous personal and professional development, embracing challenges, and fostering the progress of women in underground roles.

is a Major Partner for AusIMM's International Women's Day Event Series. For more inspiring stories like Anne's, follow AusIMM on social media using hashtag #CelebratingWomeninMining or catch up via our latest news!

Join us for our national International Women's Day Event Series for inspiring celebratory luncheons and networking, 29 February - 8 March 2024. 

Get your tickets today

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