Dianne’s OPEN TICKET to success Australia’s first Indigenous woman to hold an Open Crane Operator ticket was not expecting any special recognition, but her story is uplifting for those aspiring to reach new career heights. WHEN DIANNE DEEGAN moved to Port Hedland seven years ago in pursuit of a mining career, she never anticipated becoming a role model for both Indigenous Australians and women wanting to follow in her footsteps. Nevertheless, now widely believed to be the first and only Indigenous woman to hold an Open Crane Operator’s ticket, the Boom Logistics employee has had to accustom herself to the positive media attention. “[The attention] is something I’ve been looking at and reflecting on over the years since I joined the industry. I suppose I’ve broken the ground and made the path easier for others, in saying ‘I’ve done it and so can you’,” says Deegan. “But really in the beginning I didn’t know too much about the industry, I just wanted to get into mining and I was here at the right time. “Pilbara TAFE’s Pundulmurra Campus had an interesting course going which linked with an Aboriginal training program within BHP and some of BHP’s contractors. I was one of the trainees and that’s how it all started. “They gave us the base tickets and then guided us into different fields. Crane operating wasn’t something I knew too much about at the start, but I grew to like it very much and am now quite passionate about it.” Boom Logistics was the contractor which employed Deegan in its Aboriginal training program in 2006. Before long, she had obtained her ‘Franna’ crane ticket, before progressing to a C6 ticket for operating 60 to 80 tonne cranes. Now qualified to operate any size crane in an industry famous for its larger-than-life machinery, Deegan is proud and humbled to have created history. “When I first got into a Franna I thought to myself ‘oh God, what am I doing?’. And that’s just a little crane. It took six years to get to the Open Ticket, but I was very excited and proud to get there,” she says. “My advice to women thinking of joining the industry is to come in with an open mind. There are a lot of opportunities out there and more women are becoming involved because the industry’s culture is shifting. “I was out for dinner recently for my daughter’s 18th birthday and half of her female friends are looking to get into the resource industry through adult apprenticeships and entry-level positions. “A lot of their parents are in the industry so the knowledge that leads to a successful mining career is a lot more accessible for young women now.”
www.amma.org.au | Summer 2013 |
My advice to women thinking of joining the industry is to come in with an open mind. There are a lot of opportunities out there and more women are becoming involved because the industry’s culture is shifting. DIANNE DEEGAN BOOM LOGISTICS. Deegan may be the company’s star performer in this space, but Boom Logistics widely practices diversity as the key to a strong, healthy workforce. CEO Brendan Mitchell says the company is on a ‘diversity journey’. “The diversity within our workforce and the broad range of skills our employees bring is what makes Boom strong. We also face challenges in attracting talent in remote locations and see the opportunities that exist in employing a diverse workforce to meet our business needs,” says Mitchell. “Attracting and retaining women is a challenge for Boom and most industrial services companies.