Safety and Sustainable Development Systems Advisor
Hi my name is Rebecca Smith. I work as a Safety and Sustainable Development (SSD) Systems Advisor for Anglo Coal Australia (ACA) in Brisbane. It is my responsibility to manage the storage and reporting of safety, health, environment and community (SHEC) information that is collected across all of ACA's mine sites. This means that I mainly work with the database where this information is stored. I also train people to use the database system and I participate in the reporting of ACA's performance in the areas of safety and sustainable development.
I began working with ACA almost 2 years ago as a vacation student while studying an applied science degree in environmental resource management. My first contact with ACA, however, was when I received one of their scholarships while I completed this degree. Because I enjoyed the subjects I was studying I achieved really good results. The scholarship helped me financially while I was studying but, more importantly, gave me the initial contact with ACA in the coal mining industry.
I have met a lot more women at ACA's mine sites than I originally expected. I have become friends with some great women working in areas such geology, engineering, business analysis and occupational health and safety.
One of the best things about working for a large mining company is the opportunities to travel and progress in your career. Soon I will be moving to North Queensland, to work as an Environmental Graduate. During the graduate program I will get to work at two different mine sites, managing environmental issues such as waste, water, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and rehabilitation. There are also opportunities to work overseas in South Africa, Canada or South America. I look forward to the mix of field work and desk work that working in environmental science allows.
After the two year graduate program is over I hope to stay with ACA and work as an Environmental Advisor. Coal mining is seen as a major contributor to a number of environmental problems. By applying my knowledge and skills in environmental science, I hope to reduce some of this impact. At a large scale this might be through the reduction of greenhouse emissions, or at a more local level this could be through protecting the habitat of resident threatened species. The opportunities to make a difference are enormous.
I didn't always know that this is where I would work. After two years studying mechanical engineering, I completed a Design and Technology teaching degree and then the environmental science degree. For all of these my school maths and science has really helped me.