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Putting purpose into action

Meet Thiess’ community leads helping create lasting value in the communities we live and operate in.

From providing employment and education opportunities, promoting community liveability and wellbeing to Indigenous affairs, community capacity building is at the core of Thiess’ approach.

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Brett Herrington joined Thiess’ QCoal Northern Hub operations in May 2018.

Moving to north Queensland with his wife and three kids, Brett was appointed Health Safety Training and Environment Manager.

Today, he is more commonly known as “Mr Community”, for his help delivering Thiess’ community engagement plan in the Collinsville region.
Over the past 12 months, he’s actively supported community initiatives as diverse as education and training, health and wellbeing and cultural heritage.

“I’m passionate about investing in the long-term sustainability of our community and am grateful to work for an employer that shares the same values,” Brett said.

“Alongside our client, we are committed to helping people thrive by focusing on local projects that contribute to the prosperity, health and advancement of the Collinsville region.

“In 2019, we have invested in everything from local community events and services to bigger partnerships like our work with Hear & Say and the Clontarf Foundation.”

A proactive, approachable and positive community leader, Brett attends quarterly community working groups to better understand stakeholder needs and manage expectations.

“By actively listening to understand the challenges faced by our client and community members, we are able to deliver real value.

“These working groups are a great way to learn about and become involved in local events like the Collinsville State School Colour Run, STEM Proud Robotics Competition and Pit Pony Festival.”
New South Wales

As Human Resources Manager of Thiess’ Mt Pleasant and Mount Owen operations, Leanne Johnson is leading change alongside Thiess’ community partners.

Earlier this year, Thiess launched its national partnership with the Clontarf Foundation as part of its Australia-wide CARE Program.

Leanne and the New South Wales team have played a major role in helping build relationships with local Clontarf academies and creating opportunities through education and employment in the Hunter Valley.

“For us, it’s about engaging with local young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and providing them opportunities to grow personally and professionally,” Leanne said.

“We are working with Clontarf to build their students capabilities and educate them on local career opportunities.”

Leanne is committed to delivering on Thiess’ partnership objectives, providing paid work placements for students and participating in regional employment forums.

“A lot of local students are unaware of the training and development opportunities available to them whilst still attending school and completing their HSC,” Leanne said.

“Being able to offer paid and unpaid work experience, as well as mine site visits, helps students gain exposure and witness first-hand the opportunities available and the benefits that the mining industry can bring to the area.” 

 “I initially met Jory at a Clontarf engagement event in 2018, before the formal partnership was in place.  Jory told me all he wanted to be was a fitter.  I told him, I may have something for you in the future.  In early 2019 when I floated the idea to the Singleton Academy of an ongoing paid work placement for one of their students, I was pleased to see Jory had applied for the opportunity and was ultimately successful in securing the work placement. ” Leanne said.

It’s fantastic to see how much he has developed over the past eleven months.”

Mt Owen Mine has also hosted other Clontarf students for work placements.  We are very proud that Singleton academy students Blair Treacy and also Jory Kennedy Jones have been accepted into the MIGAS 2020 Apprentice intake and will soon join Thiess’ Mount Owen Mine to complete their apprenticeship.
Western Australia
It was her sisters work in community relations that first sparked Thiess Finance Manager Ellie Penny’s passion for giving back.

“I saw how rewarding my sisters’ job was and how she was making a lasting difference in the community, she really inspired me to do more,” Ellie said.

Since joining the CIMIC Group 10 years ago, Ellie has participated in a number of community initiatives with a strong focus on empowering young Aboriginal people in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.

“We’ve worked really closely with our client and Roebourne District High School to help encourage school attendance, develop career paths and work-ready skills,” Ellie said.

“We have worked to foster young talent and encourage students to learn about the mining industry through our onsite painting projects, career expos and end-of-year barbecues.”

Ellie said its Thiess’ commitment to its diversity and inclusion vision of everyone matters always that inspires her to get involved.

“Every day at Thiess we are empowered and encouraged to be involved and help benefit the communities we live and operate in,” Ellie said.

“As a business, Thiess understands the value of giving back and how we can improve opportunities for the sustainable development of communities around our operations.”

Thiess’ Community and Stakeholder Relations team works with its Australian projects to enable teams to build relationships with local communities and deliver positive social performance outcomes. 
The team is centrally-based in Thiess’ Brisbane and Perth offices and coordinate project support regionally though its network of community leads. Proactive, genuine and positive engagement with passionate local people and organisations is what drives the success of the team’s work.

In Australia in 2019, Thiess has supported:
• More than 200 initiatives
• Provider of 800 hours of in-kind support
• Worked with over 150 different organisations