Hancock Prospecting Executive Chair Gina Rinehart paid tribute to trailblazing, resilient women in all walks of life in a speech at the Roy Hill mining operation to launch a video celebrating women in mining.

From the early Hancock family pioneers who arrived in the north west in a wooden boat, to Olympic swimming champion Dawn Fraser, Dr Pat Kailis, who helped her husband establish WA’s northern fishing and pearling industries, and Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen, mother and grandmother, wife of farmer and Queensland’s longest serving premier Sir Joh, and who served as a Senator, Mrs Rinehart said they and many others were inspirational.

“There are also the incredible women serving our country in our Defence Force, those working in our police, our female doctors and nurses,” she said.

“Women working in the outback, away from city conveniences, but not away from the snakes and crocodiles; let’s all think of those in the Kimberley losing their homes, their possessions, some their livelihoods, and losing many thousands of their cattle.”

Mrs Rinehart said women at Roy Hill work at the only mine in the world where technology and operational responsibility joined with breast cancer support.

“Our world-first pink trucks, locomotives, WHIMS plant and other pink mining equipment, fund raising support to breast cancer sufferers, including for our local Solaris centre here in Port Hedland,” she said.

“Women, battling a frightening, dreadful disease, often harsh chemotherapies and multiple surgeries and multiple hospital stays, trying their best to live for their family, inspiring and very special women fighting this unfair cruel disease.”

She said the participation rate of women at Roy Hill, at 25 per cent, was higher than the industry standard.

“Metallurgists, engineers, mechanics, diesel operators, process plant operators, geos, train drivers, rail maintenance, drill and blast crews, and many other roles. We provide development opportunities for women across our operations,” Mrs Rinehart said.

“And, we have women in leadership, like Simone – a former nurse, responsible for more than 300 people across the Roy port and rail teams.

“From an early age I have been involved in what was a predominantly male-centric industry and when I became chair in 1992 worked with professionals who doubted the Roy project, recommending we don’t proceed.

“I worked to turn a company from one in substantial difficulty to become the most successful private company in Australia, and one of the most successful private mining companies in the world.

“Again, this is thanks to you, and your daily efforts and contributions, and I hope you’ll always be proud to be a member of our outstanding company group.”

Read the full speech and watch the video, Women in Mining: Building an Exceptional Future Together, here.