minutos de lectura

Making her mark: Sarah Wells

Tell us a bit about you Sarah
I'm Sarah Wells, a proud Biripi woman (from the Mid-North Coast of NSW), and I take pride in my heritage. I am the Technical Services Manager at Mount Pleasant Operations in the Hunter Valley, NSW and have a degree in Geology and a Post Graduate Qualification in Mining Engineering. Beyond my professional life, I'm raising my two sons, Cooper (4) and Angus (2), with my husband Michael and our two dogs, and enjoy tending to my garden.

How did you get into the Geology and Resources sector?
My geology and mining journey began during high school when I discovered Earth and Environmental Science. However, it wasn't until a family trip to New Zealand in early 2010 and seeing its diverse landscapes and geological formations that my fascination with geology truly took hold. This was when I decided that Geology was something I was passionate about and could see as a potential career path.

Growing up with a father who worked in a coal handling preparation plant, I was already familiar with the industry. Witnessing his passion for his work inspired me to seek a similar sense of fulfillment in my career.

What does your day-to-day look like? What do you enjoy about your role and working at Thiess? 
As a manager overseeing engineers, geologists, and surveyors, each day brings a unique set of tasks and responsibilities. A day typically begins with understanding the priorities and offering any necessary support or guidance. Time is then spent with other departments such as safety, maintenance, and production to align plans for the day. I maintain communication with our client, ensuring that their needs and expectations are being met and addressing any concerns they may have. Additionally, I actively monitor the progress of our project and address any emerging issues to maintain operational efficiency and safety standards.

I enjoy the challenges of my role, ensuring our team achieves excellence while prioritising safety and professionalism. Working at Thiess provides a supportive environment where collaboration and innovation thrive, fostering growth and success for both the team and the organisation.

We recently held the Connect.Yarn.Grow conference. What were the main takeaways from that event for you?
To me it marked a significant milestone in fostering inclusivity and empowerment within the Indigenous community, and provided a place for connection, collaboration, and networking. I thought it provided a powerful reminder about the collective potential inherent in unity and dialogue and It was evident to me that this conference wasn't a one-off event but an opportunity for ongoing growth and change.

My key takeaways from the conference were that Thiess has made great progress with the current Reconciliation Action Plan, regarding supplier diversity, pipeline programs, onboarding and development of the cultural learning framework.

As an Indigenous employee, I left the conference feeling heard and empowered, knowing that our voices are valued and that together, we can drive positive change within the Thiess Group and beyond.

National Reconciliation Week ended recently. What does NRW mean to you, and how do you think it can contribute to healing and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians?
I feel that at its core, NRW emphasises the need for genuine reconciliation, which goes beyond mere acknowledgment of past wrongs. It calls for actions to address systemic inequalities, support Indigenous self-determination, and promote cultural awareness. By having respectful relationships built on trust and mutual respect, I think NRW contributes to the broader goal of creating a more inclusive and equitable society where Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians can coexist harmoniously.

I believe NRW holds an opportunity for education and allows non-indigenous Australians a time to understand and appreciate reconciliation and its significance to Indigenous Australians. Through this healing can occur.

NRW is a call to action for all Australians to actively participate in the reconciliation process, honouring the rights, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples, and collectively building a future founded on justice, equality, and unity.

Making her mark: Sarah Wells