Ange Daley from Airlie Beach. Picture: supplied
Ange Daley from Airlie Beach. Picture: supplied

Whitsunday mine worker says industry needs more women

An award-winning mine worker is calling for change in her field, saying more women should be employed in the industry.

Airlie Beach resident Ange Daley has been an exploration and blast hole driller for the past 15 years and currently works for Thiess in Dysart.

Often the only woman in a drill team, Ms Daley has led innovative projects that have contributed to the development of the Australian mining industry.

“I was on the project team responsible for bringing a first of its kind, multi-pass autonomous drill rig to site where I oversaw the unpacking, training, monitoring and reviewing of the machinery,” she said.

“I’ve had the privilege of teaching, mentoring and guiding workers in the mining industry from different cultures all over the world.

“Despite this, I haven’t met many female drillers and I strongly believe that diversity in our industry needs to improve.”

But Ms Daley isn’t just calling for change, she is leading the charge in becoming a trainer and assessor to help represent women in higher level roles.

“I want to inspire women who are entering the industry to aim for non-traditional roles, especially leadership positions,” she said.

The Whitsunday resident has faced other challenges during her career journey.

Two years ago she was diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis – a disease that can potentially disable the brain and spinal cord.

“When I was diagnosed, I thought my drilling career was over,” Ms Daley said.

“Luckily with advances in medical science, I can live a normal and active life.

“I was never going to let my illness stop me or derail my career, and I use MS as inspiration to work even harder.”

Ange Daley receiving an award at the 2021 Resources Awards for Women. Picture: Mark Duffus
Ange Daley receiving an award at the 2021 Resources Awards for Women. Picture: Mark Duffus

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Ms Daley and her partner enjoy an outdoor lifestyle of fishing and camping in the Whitsundays when she’s not away at work.

She said their next goal was to start a family.

“I’m confident that I can have a family and continue my career, and I’m determined to make this a reality,” she said.

Ms Daley won the award for exceptional trade/technician/operator at the recent 2021 Resources Awards for Women.

The Queensland Resources Council, together with Women in Mining and Resources Queensland, presented the awards.

The other winners included:

Exceptional Woman in Resources – Maryann Wipaki

Maryann Wipaki is general manager of health, safety, environment and community for Glencore Metals, based in Mount Isa.

Exceptional Young Woman in Resources – Ashleigh Turner

Ashleigh Turner is procurement manager at Hastings Deering, based in Brisbane, where she manages an annual $2 billion budget.

Exceptional Woman in Technological Innovation – Sharna Glover

Sharna is co-founder and CEO,, Brisbane.

Exceptional Trade/Technician/Operator – Ange Daley

Ange is an exploration & blast hole driller, trainer & assessor with Thiess in Dysart.

Gender Diversity Champion in Resources – Liz Hansen

Liz is the culture and inclusions manager at Anglo American in Brisbane.

Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance – TransCoal, Brisbane

Exceptional Female QMEA Student – Caitlin Boothby

Caitlin is a student at Biloela State High School in Biloela.

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