October 2018

Has there been a leader who has inspired you in your career, and what did you learn from them?

  • By AusIMM

We asked four AusIMM professionals: has there been a leader who has inspired you in your career, and what did you learn from them?

The leader that has inspired me the most is Denise Goldsworthy. She is my boss at Alternate Futures, a company she set up to facilitate collaboration and innovation in the mining industry that has strong credibility linking government, industry and research groups in order to connect solutions to problems.

Denise is inspirational because she is extremely intelligent, ethical, well-informed and courageous. She’s on several boards and advises leaders at the top echelons of Australian politics and in Australia’s executive ranks. When Denise speaks, everyone listens. She’s learnt the art of ‘gravitas’, a skill I’m intent on developing to improve my own leadership and influencing skills.

Another reason why I admire Denise is because she is a family woman who has raised two awesome, accomplished children while being awesome and accomplished herself. She also gives back to Australian society through a lot of unpaid services for universities, ATSE, government innovation investment initiatives and not-for-profit organisations. She’s a very grounded and real human being, with a wonderful sense of humour and is loyal to those she knows have the best of intentions, motivated to achieve a greater good.

As a Graduate Mining Engineer, I commenced employment with St Barbara Ltd, Simberi Operations in Papua New Guinea in 2014. As a new professional to the industry with little knowledge of the practical side of mining, I was fortunate to have Ivan Andrew (Senior Mining Engineer) as my mentor. I have learnt a lot from Andrew both in and out of the office. He is a role model who leads by example.

I still look up to him as a role model and great leader who inspires, challenges, enables, models and encourages me to be a professional mining engineer in the industry. He is keen on passing on his skills, experiences and knowledge to his juniors.

It is my utmost pleasure and honour to work alongside him as the Mining Engineer (Drill and Blast) and I believe there is still more I can learn from him.

Kate Hobbs has been a leader that has inspired me in the mining industry. Her passion to achieve whatever she sets her mind to has motivated me through my degree, and has inspired me to push myself outside of my studies and get involved in AusIMM networking events, dinners and conferences. This has culminated in my decision to take on the role of President for the AusIMM Melbourne Student Chapter. These activities have helped me secure my first job by allowing me to make strong networking connections.

Kate’s involvement in AusIMM WIMnet and other change initiatives to help improve our sector showed me that a single voice can make a difference. If it’s something you believe in, there must be continual effort and hard work, which will all be worth it in the end. Without Kate, I would not have looked for improvement, raised my voice, asked questions or showed enough initiative for change to be invited to be a part of the new AusIMM Diversity and Inclusion Council, which was a great honour.

There have been many influential leaders in my career so far, but one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve had was within the General Atomics umbrella: Horst Maerten, the Vice President of Technology at Heathgate and CEO of UIT.

Working with Horst was an incredible experience that combined the pursuit of knowledge and growth and development as a person. Horst taught me that there is an art to everyday life and its interaction with your profession, and this inspired me to be involved in my passions outside of work. Horst made me realise that developing yourself personally is just as important as developing professionally.

Through him, I have learned to thrive in innovation, encourage others to think outside the box and become a technical sponge, learning from the experts around me. There is so much that I have learnt from watching Horst in his natural state, such as the value of relationships, respect and the value in humility and constant learning.

To this day, I continue to interact with Horst as well as the many mentors and leaders who have influenced my views. I am fortunate that I continue to have the opportunity to learn from their remarkable experiences, knowledge and character.

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