Workforce of the Future: Focus on Mining

Australia's mining industry is at the forefront of industries undergoing rapid and large-scale skills shifts as a result of changing technologies and future global demands. As a result of these changes, the mining workforce of the future will be more diverse, geographically distributed and digitally connected.

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To meet the demand for traditional and non-traditional skilled workers grows, employers will be looking for people with skills and capabilities that are adaptable, transferable and relevant to the needs of the sector to build Australia's economic future. The Mining Skills Organisation Pilot is working with employers, the mining industry and the national VET system to ensure the training structure meets the needs of employers and provides learners with the skills they need for a successful career in the mining sector.


Introduction from Tania Constable PSM  - Chief Executive Officer Minerals Council of Australia

Tania Constable PSM joined the Minerals Council of Australia in July 2018 where she is proud to promote and advocate for a strong, vibrant and innovative minerals industry in Australia.

Prior to this, Tania was Chief Executive Officer of the CO2CRC (Collaborative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies) a leading global research organisation testing carbon capture and storage low emission technologies in Australia.

Tania previously worked as chief adviser in the Personal and Retirement Income Division of Treasury, working on tax-related matters and has had a long association with resources and energy, holding various senior executive roles in the Australian Government. Tania had responsibility for policy advice to the Minister for Industry on oil and gas regulation, exploration and development, and sustainable mining activities.

During this time Ms Constable also had the privilege of being the Australian Joint Commissioner and Sunrise Commissioner for Australia and Timor Leste leading joint activities on the development of the Joint Petroleum Development Area and Greater Sunrise Project.

She was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2014 for outstanding public service in the development of Australia’s liquefied natural gas and other resource and energy industries.

Michelle Gibson - Head of Mastery & Training, BHP Operations Services

Michelle is an experienced Human Resources leader with over 25 years in global blue chip businesses, geographies and industries.  Experience across a range of leadership roles in Talent, Leadership Development, Engagement, Performance and Learning.  

Actively involved in STEM and education priorities, including board roles within the tertiary education sector. Michelle is a non executive director and Chair of Remunerations and Nominations Committee for a Not for Profit organisation, 

Michelle has been in the Mining industry for twelve years, and prior to that, has worked in Advertising and Media, Airlines, Water, Retail and Supply Chain Logistics industries in both operational and functional roles.

Michelle is renowned for delivery of outcomes and works collaboratively with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders and has a passion for developing others. She maintains a strong global Human Resources network and is often sought for advice on talent and learning trends and speaking opportunities.

Michelle holds an Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School, Advanced Leadership at Cambridge University and is Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Christine Gibbs Stewart – CEO, Austmine Limited

Chris is the CEO of Austmine, the leading industry body representing the Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector. She has some 30 years of experience in international business, industry development and general management.

As CEO of Austmine, Chris is firmly focused on delivering value to the organisation’s members, creating opportunities and driving strategic innovation and collaboration across the industry. She has forged powerful relationships, and has helped to significantly raise the profile of the sector to the point that it is now recognised as a Federal Government Industry Growth Centre. In 2016, Chris was recognised for her work by winning the Industry Advocacy Award at the Australian Women in Industry Awards.

Chris has worked across a number of different industries including mining, food and beverage, HVAC, IT, design, construction, aviation and automotive. She has extensive experience in working with governments in Australia and abroad to develop and deliver industry and economic development programs. Government clients have include Australian local, state and Commonwealth departments, multi-lateral trade development agencies and foreign governments including in China, Thailand, Brazil, Chile and the USA.

Chris has a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, USA, and an MBA in International Management from the University of Technology, Sydney. She is an Australian and US citizen.

Susan Scheepers – General Manager, People and Performance, Geopacific Resources

Susan is an accomplished, progressive and team orientated Human Resource (HR) professional providing strong leadership in a wide range of human resource initiatives.  She has extensive resources industry experience with over 16 years’ experience with major resource companies with positions held at site, corporate and offshore locations. 

Susan began her career in Human Resources in 2003 as a HR Development Practitioner at one of Xstrata Alloys’. After a short time, she was promoted to Group HR Development Manager, overseeing 11 operational units.  

In 2014 Susan joined St Barbara and in her role as the Group Manager Human Resources, assumed responsibility for corporate issues and site projects. Susan implemented the Gender Smart Safety project at the Simberi Operations in PNG and established a team focused on the upskilling of PNG people.

In her new role as GM People & Performance Susan is responsible for all Human Resources and People Development responsibilities for Geopacific Resources. Susan is passionate about developing people and providing them suitable skills to set them up for success.

Craig Robertson – CEO, TAFE Directors Australia

Craig Robertson commenced as CEO of TAFE Directors Australia in April 2017.  The organisation promotes nationally and internationally the critical role that TAFEs play in tertiary education in Australia. In this role he is also the Chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics which is a global network of associations and institutions committed to high quality professional and technical education and training.

Prior to joining TDA Craig worked in the Victorian Government in 2015 and 2016 with responsibilities for the operation of vocational education and working with Victorian universities.

Craig also worked for over 30 years in the Commonwealth Government with responsibilities in national policy and program delivery relating to employment services, funding for schools and most aspects of vocational education and training. Craig was also an inaugural member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Council formed in 2011.

Craig holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration and Bachelor of Education (Primary).

Dr Gavin Lind – General Manager, Safety, Workforce & Innovation, Minerals Council of Australia.

Gavin is the Chair of Mining Skills Organisation Pilot Working Group and is currently the General Manager Safety, Workforce and Innovation at the MCA.

Gavin was awarded the 2013 LH Martin Award for Excellence in Leadership in Higher Education for his work in promoting minerals education at multiple governmental, institutional, and corporate levels. Gavin has held various professional roles in industry, academia and government in both South Africa and Australia, and is a stand-up comedian in his spare time.

Catherine McGrath - Moderator

Catherine McGrath is a policy, engagement, and advocacy expert and in-demand facilitator. She is a giant of the Australian media and the founder of the BusinessSpeaking training program that support and train professional speakers across the country. Catherine also provides media training to leaders and executives in the private sector and Government agencies. During three decades of reporting, Catherine was political editor for both the ABC and SBS television and was the ABC’s South East Asia Correspondent based in Singapore. Catherine is a recipient of the Centenary of Federation Medal for Services to Society through Journalism and the ABC Reuters Foundation Scholarship to study international affairs at Oxford University.