When Kelly Down started her apprenticeship with Bell Bay Aluminium (BBA) 26 years ago, she was only one of two female fitter and turner apprentices in Tasmania.
Last night at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Kelly was presented with the Outstanding Australian Tradeswoman, Operator or Technician Award at the third annual Women in Resources National Awards (WIRNA).
WIRNA recognise and celebrate the contributions and achievements of women in Australia's resources sector. Kelly Down said: “I was certainly not expecting to win this award. It is a great honour for me to be recognised in this way. I would particularly like to share the credit with my husband, Chris, who also works for BBA and my work colleagues.” “It hasn’t always been easy and working as a female tradie all those years ago was very rare. Throughout my career at BBA I have worked in many roles but seven years ago I was presented with an opportunity to work as a safety and training officer. This required me to return to school to gain my Certificates IV in Training and Assessment and Occupational Health and Safety. I really enjoy working in this area in the aluminium industry because it’s both challenging and rewarding.”
Born and bred in George Town, Kelly finished school in Grade 10 to pursue a career in fashion. Wanting to work with her hands, she successfully completed two years at TAFE School of Fashion. Opportunities to develop a career in fashion locally were limited so Kelly followed in the footsteps of her family and successfully gained employment and an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner at Bell Bay Aluminium.
As safety and training officer, Kelly organises training for employees, maintains the Learning Management System and works with contract companies to raise their level of training to meet site requirements.
“One of the greatest risks to the work force is working at heights, and in my role, I have developed and delivered the site’s working at heights training to a nationally accredited standard. This has required me to develop an area on site where we are now able to suspend a trainee in a harness and deploy trauma straps, practising the use of the emergency descent devices that are located in our cranes,” Kelly said.
“With my dedication and involvement, our department leads the way in maintaining the OH&S requirements for site.”
Acting General Manager for Bell Bay Aluminium Greg Turner congratulated Kelly and said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Kelly and for Bell Bay Aluminium. Kelly’s success provides an inspiration to the next generation of women and reflects the commitment and leadership she demonstrates in her role. It also reinforces our belief that the long-term sustainability of our sector relies on attracting and retaining skilled people from diverse backgrounds.”
Bell Bay Aluminium wishes to congratulate crew leader Jenny Jones and process engineer Aileen Chuo who were also Tasmanian finalists in the national awards.
Bell Bay Aluminium - Women in Resources Video Presentation
- The National Women in Resources Awards is a partnership between the Minerals Council of Australia and its Northern Territory and Victorian branches, the Chamber of Minerals & Energy WA, the Queensland Resources Council, the NSW Minerals Council, the SA Chamber of Mines & Energy, and the Tasmanian Minerals & Energy Council. The awards are also supported by the various AusIMM state WIMnet (Women in Mining Network) groups.
- Bell Bay Aluminium employees 435 full time employees
- Currently, women make up approximately 10 per cent of Bell Bay Aluminium’s workforce.