What is your current role and focus at The Perth Mint?
As Acting CEO my focus is to keep the business running while seeing the business and our people through this difficult COVID period. Our priority is to protect our staff from the spread of COVID. Equally so, if that did happen we have plans in place so that we can keep serving the mining community as we provide an essential service to their businesses.
How long have you been with the organisation?
I have been with The Perth Mint for 7.5 years. Initially, I thought I would be here for 18 months to 2 years but I have found it to be a fascinating business that presents one professional challenge after another. I am still excited by The Perth Mint and want to be part of its success.
Tell us about your career to date?
My background is customer service, however, I spent a short time with Rio Tinto in Dampier at the port, as well as two years as an HR Superintendent onsite at Fortescue Metals Group’s Cloudbreak. In addition to learning some pretty colourful language, understanding provisions for the life of mine were really rewarding. Everything that we touched had to go back to how it was before, so I like the respect for the land that we were mining. There are ways you can be respectful to the environment, flora and fauna. Once the mining aspect was removed from the pit we were backfilling and putting it back to how it was. The site also held a lot of respect for the first nations people. Although I have a Masters in Employment Relations – Safety, HR and IR, working on a big mine site really honed my safety focus.
What are your goals for your time as the Acting CEO?
Looking after our people, keeping our people physically and mentally safe, especially during these COVID times. I am cognisant of people’s mental wellbeing throughout this process and different people handle situations differently. Encouraging our leaders to be understanding and putting strategies in place for people who are struggling or living alone. Supporting them to continue living their lives as normal as possible as we deal with COVID.
What kind of opportunities does The Perth Mint offer women?
The Perth Mint offers women an opportunity to have equal opportunities to men. Any females who come to The Perth Mint can achieve anything they want to do. There is no bias for women in non-traditional roles. We have a pretty much 50/50 split between men and women and a lot of women in senior leadership roles. We hope that would continue to grow.
What kind of opportunities can young women expect to find at both The Perth Mint and within the gold/precious metals industry more broadly?
We seek to not only encourage females to apply for roles but also make roles more attractive so all our staff – men included – can balance work with their family lives. As an example, paternity leave acknowledges the father’s role but also gives the mother an opportunity to return to her career.
How does The Perth Mint engage with Indigenous communities?
We have a big program to educate our people on cultural awareness and have included First Nations people’s stories in our Exhibition tour. In the tour, we talk about how Aboriginal families helped the gold industry get started. We’re also committed to expanding our supply chain to use more Indigenous businesses and work with groups like the Waalitj Foundation to encourage candidates to apply for positions across our business.
Is The Perth Mint an equal opportunity employer for people with a disability and from culturally diverse backgrounds?
Our business is enormously diverse, you walk through the different parts of the business and you see people from around the world. One thing a lot of businesses have right is that you don’t discriminate, but the next step is to make a workplace inclusive, where people can bring their whole selves to work and not feel like they have to fit in with any one group. Our employees of all backgrounds are made welcome, celebrated and included.
With our heritage buildings, we have some challenges around access, but that said we have a lot of people who have declared a disability and we have made modifications to buildings that we can within heritage guidelines.
I think it also says a lot that we all have staff with non-visible disabilities that have felt comfortable to declare to us and we work to make them feel welcome and included.
Tell us about The Perth Mint’s sustainability focus?
We do all of the things a lot of organisations do from small to big. Recycling is just one very small thing in the great scheme but it focuses people’s minds and reminds them of other things they can do to be sustainable. Other examples are switching to energy-efficient lights, we are close to getting solar power, keeping water usage to a minimum and being careful with waste disposal.
In the last 12 months, we have seen The Perth Mint move from developing to advanced on the sustainability maturity scale and we continue to embed sustainability into our day-to-day operations.
What would you like to see The Perth Mint achieve in the next 12 months to five years?
I would like to see the business still thriving, I would like tourism to return to the visitor levels that we were at pre-COVID, with more people from all over the world coming to enjoy our building and showcase our products. I would like our coin programs to continue to be of interest and the innovation that is shown in there continue so more and more people collect gold and silver pieces. I would like visitors to feel safe and comfortable coming here and visitors and customers understand that we are a sustainable business.
I would also like our mining clients to still feel that they get good value and that we are conducting a business that has an eye on the future.
Jane hands over to Jason Waters as the new CEO, effective 26 April 2022. Read the media announcement: Jason Waters appointed CEO of Gold Corporation.