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How Sisters in Mining changed Denika's life

For Thiess’ Denika, the Sisters in Mining program has changed her life in more ways than one.

The 2017 graduate is now a qualified haul truck operator at our Curragh operations in Queensland.
Denika shared her Sisters in Mining experience with guests at the Bowen Basin Mining Club luncheon earlier this year. She said the initiative was key to improving job opportunities for Indigenous women and helped promote Thiess’ vision of everyone matters always.
Here’s a snippet of what she shared.
How did you become a Sister in Mining?
I come from a long line of miners. Getting involved in the industry was something that I always wanted to do. I heard about the Sisters in Mining program from a relative and set about applying.
How has the Sister’s in Mining program made a difference to you and your family?
It’s been three years since I completed the program and it has changed my whole way of life - in a really good way.
I don’t stand back now - I get in and have a crack.
I can drive haul trucks; water carters and I’ve had the opportunity to drive a Cat 797. I drive the biggest machines in the world!
I also have a career path and a focus that I didn’t have before, and I am a role model for my siblings.
What does it mean to you and your community to have opportunities like the program in the region?
There’re no opportunities like this out there in rural communities. It gives girls in these communities something to work towards, knowing there will be two intakes a year.
You feel as if those goals of owning a home are at the time a bit unachievable, but the program gives you independence and hope.
What are your goals for the future?
I’ve enrolled in university to do a management course, and I’d like to do a business course as well so that I can move up the ranks on site.
I’m passionate about understanding mining and the machines that we use. Also, I am passionate about contributing and leading a diverse and inclusive workplace. I’d love a role working with our Diversity and Inclusion team.
I want to see how far I can go.
Denika is currently a mentor for the New to Industry program currently underway at our Curragh operations. The program is an opportunity for those who have never worked in the mining industry to get a foot in the door. As an experienced operator, Denika assists the trainees through the final stages of their study.
We’re excited to see what the future holds for Denika.