MADE FOR WORKING: Georgia Foley is one of the featured women in an upcoming campaign 'In Her Boots' launched by Penny Crawford (inset). Photos: Supplied

MADE FOR WORKING: Georgia Foley is one of the featured women in an upcoming campaign 'In Her Boots' launched by Penny Crawford (inset). Photos: Supplied

Boots made for working: capturing heart of our women in mining

Penny Crawford launches campaign to highlight changing face of mining industry

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The "pioneering" achievements of women like these two will be lauded in the new campaign 'In Her Boots' launched by podiatrist Penny Crawford.

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Ann-Marie Hawkins has been in the mining business for over 10 years, and Georgia Foley is the only full-time female underground electrician at Whitehaven Coal.

The "pioneering" achievements of women like these two will be lauded in the new campaign 'In Her Boots' launched by podiatrist Penny Crawford.

Tamworth's Ms Hawkins works at Boggabri Coal as a heavy vehicle operator. She also wears the hats of mother and, just recently, a grandmother to a little girl.

"I was a single mother and wanting to make a better life for my daughter. In my previous position, I was working six days a week which left no quality family time," she explained.

Georgia Foley.

Georgia Foley.

"I am able to balance my work and family life which was is what was appealing about the mining industry."

An average day for Ms Hawkins goes like this: a 4am wake-up call is followed with a drive to Boggabri with three other gentlemen in their carpool. Pulling a 12 hour day, she's home for dinner to spend time with her family.

"I think women being more involved is good for women and the industry - women have a way of thinking in a more practical problem solving capacity," she laughed.

"I enjoy being treated equally ... to do jobs that woman once upon a time wouldn't have been asked to do."

Ms Foley has just won the NSW Training Awards special award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation. She says there are a lot of women going into open cut mines now.

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"[O]bviously a lot of women are going out there truck-driving or operating which I reckon is great for our area," she has said.

Stereotypically, women are underrepresented in the mining industry says Penny Crawford, Gunnedah podiatrist and designer behind the 'Crawford boot'. She feels it's important to start a conversation around the changing face of mining and the women behind it.

Penny Crawford.

Penny Crawford.

"Australia has a rich history of women pioneering innovation, and female participation in the mining industry is creating momentum for continuous improvement," she said.

"I feel it is incredibly important to recognise and showcase some of Australia's influential women in mining, getting their perspectives on not only the Crawford Boot but the industry as a whole," Ms Crawford explained.

"We want to show real women speaking on what they're passionate about."

The story Boots made for working: capturing heart of our women in mining first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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