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February 27, 2024
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Resourceful women recognised at mining and resource industry awards night – PerthNow

When the best women in WA’s rich mining and resource sector came together last week, Kathy Lewi and Madeline Deppeler stood right at the forefront.
Ms Lewi, who is heading up commissioning of the Tianqi Lithium hydroxide refinery in Kwinana, was named this year’s outstanding woman in resources.
Her role is leading the technical direction for a team of 80 at a facility that could put WA’s ambitions to be a major global player in the battery sector on the map.
The Myaree resident has built a 35-year career as one of Australia’s leading metallurgical engineers and continues to give back to young women entering the profession by mentoring fourth-year chemical engineering students at Curtin University.
“It’s absolutely critical we have more women in STEM (science, technology, English and mathematics) because we need that critical mass to make changes,” she said.
Nearly 1000 people attended the annual Women In Resources Awards last Friday at Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Of those, just six were awarded major leadership gongs, including Ms Deppeler, from Fremantle.
The lead terminal technician at Shell’s Prelude floating LNG project was named this year’s winner of the outstanding operator/technician/trade award.
And with her rare qualifications — she’s one of just 21 women in Australia qualified to sail as captain on any size vessel anywhere in the world — it’s easy to understand why.
“One of my favourite parts of the job is how amazing it is to wake up in the morning and go out on deck and the landscape has completely changed from when the sun went down the day before,” she said.
At Prelude, Ms Deppeler was part of the team that took the floating facility’s first cargo import. On dry land, she mentors and shares her experiences and challenges as a female in shipping.
“While our winners all have different stories and backgrounds, the one attribute they share in common is that they are all leaders in one shape or another,” Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA chief executive Paul Everingham said.
“As our sector strives to increase diversity and continue the journey towards equality, our 2022 WIRA winners show that the future of the WA mining and resources sector is in very good hands.
“In recognising and celebrating not only our winners but all our finalists, I hope that we can highlight the wide range of jobs, career pathways and opportunities that are available to women in our sector.”


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