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Introducing our 2020 AusIMM Award recipients

AusIMM Bulletin
ยท 3000 words, 12 min read

The AusIMM Awards have been recognising contributions to AusIMM and professional excellence in the resources sector for more than 80 years.

First awarded in 1935, AusIMM Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to best practice professionalism. The awards help to promote and raise the overall standard of professional practice and send a clear message to our communities that we are committed to the highest standards.

All AusIMM members are eligible to nominate and be nominated for one or more awards, and all members are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups.

Highest honours

The Institute Medal

The Institute Medal is the most prestigious award and highest honour conferred by AusIMM. It is awarded in recognition of eminent leadership of AusIMM or the resources sector.



Professor Bruce Hebblewhite FAusIMM

Professor Bruce Hebblewhite has more than 40 years of international experience in mining and has made a long-standing commitment to the resources sector through his leadership in teaching, training and research.

Bruce has held senior positions with Australian Coal Industry Research Laboratories Ltd (ACIRL) between 1977-1995, and served as the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Kenneth Finlay Chair of Rock Mechanics between 1995-2002. Bruce was appointed Head at UNSW’s School of Mining Engineering between 2003-2014.

Bruce has produced more than 200 academic publications, and numerous industry and consultancy reports. Much of Bruce’s focus has been in improving mine safety and efficiency in design, productivity and other operational improvements. His leadership in research led to significant improvements in health and safety in the Australian mining sector.

Bruce was actively involved in adapting risk-based management systems into the Australian coal industry. He led research to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, and risk management is now embedded across the Australian mining industry and Australia is a world leader in this space. Bruce was also a member of an international research team that developed the UNSW Pillar Design Procedure which has helped save many lives.

Bruce has supervised 18 students through to successful PhD completion at UNSW and is still active in teaching and research at UNSW.

Belonging to various national and international professional bodies, Bruce has been recognised nationally and internationally as a leading academic in mining research and education.

President’s Award

The President’s Award may be presented to any senior and influential professional who has made a notable contribution to, or achievement within AusIMM or the resources sector.

John Gooding FAusIMM

John Gooding is a mining engineer with more than 40 years’ experience in gold and base metals. He has held many executive and leadership roles across his career, both in Australia and overseas.

John commenced his career in Broken Hill with CRA, 10 formative years which provided him with the opportunities and grounding for a lifelong career in Australia’s mining industry. John’s career led him to some of this country’s largest hard rock operations, working for almost 12 years as Executive General Manager Operations for Normandy Mining Ltd; Executive General Manager of the Mount Isa Business Unit (including UK operations); CEO of Xstrata’s Australian copper and zinc business; Executive General Manager Downer Mining Group; Technical Services Executive at Ok Tedi in Papua New Guinea (PNG); and until his retirement in 2016, almost 10 years as MD of Highlands Pacific working in PNG. He now holds several non-executive director roles in the resources sector.

John is well known and well respected throughout the industry. He leads by example and finds common ground between parties wherever possible. He is genuinely committed to the industry and especially to the men and women who work in the sector. He also respects and has a history of supporting the resources communities where his operations were located.

John has been instrumental in leading, championing and mentoring a number of now prominent men and women in mining and is proud of their success. John has continued to be a thoughtful and generous mentor and an excellent sounding board for professionals across the resources sector.

Honorary Fellowship

Honorary Fellowship recognises exceptional achievement, service or contribution to the resources sector. This grade of membership may be conferred on any senior and influential professional who has performed notable, active and sustained service to AusIMM or made a major contribution to the resources sector. There are two recipients of Honorary Fellowship in 2020.

Professor Tim Napier-Munn HonFAusIMM(CP)

Tim Napier-Munn is a mineral engineer with almost 50 years of experience in applied research and development. His early work was with De Beers in South Africa, and lecturing at Imperial College London.

Tim joined the Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) at the University of Queensland in 1985, being appointed Research Director in 1992 and Director in 1997. In 2001, Tim became inaugural Managing Director of JKTech Pty Ltd (the Commercial Division of the JKMRC). Tim retired from these two roles in 2004 and now works part-time for the JKMRC and as a consultant for JKTech. He was appointed Emeritus Professor at the University of Queensland in 2015.

Tim has delivered professional development courses on statistics for mineral engineers for over 25 years, and consulted to industry on the planning and analysis of plant trials. In 2014 he published his book Statistical Methods for Mineral Engineers – How to Design Experiments and Analyse Data.

Tim has published more than 150 papers and articles, and was the editor of the JKMRC’s ‘Blue Book’ on Mineral Comminution Circuits and the seventh edition of Wills’ Mineral Processing Technology.

Tim is a recipient of the Futers Gold Medal of the UK Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (2009), the AusIMM President’s Award (2011) and the AusIMM Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Medal (2015). He was the AusIMM Delprat Distinguished Lecturer in 2016.


Professor John Ralston AO HonFAusIMM

Emeritus Professor John Ralston is a physical and colloid chemist, with complementary training in metallurgy, whose research interests cover various aspects of interfacial science and engineering. He investigates how bubbles and particles interact, why and how fast surfaces wet and why particles stick together. During his career, John has been instrumental in establishing and leading a variety of major research programs, blending fundamental and applied research.

&In 1984, John was appointed Professor of Chemical Technology at the Australian Institute of Technology (which became the University of South Australia (UniSA) in 1991). In 1994 he established the Ian Wark Research Institute (the Wark) and was Director until his retirement in 2012. Under John’s leadership, the Wark became a world-famous institute, employing 180 academic staff and research students over three campuses. His research efforts with his team members have returned over AUD$1 billion to industry.

In 1999 John led the successful bid for an Australian Research Council Special Research Centre for Particle and Material Interfaces; and in 2006, John was the principal researcher who helped establish the Australian Mineral Science Research Institute (AMSRI). John has also actively supervised 85 PhD research students.

In 2007, John was awarded South Australian of the Year and South Australian Scientist of the Year. In 2008, John was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. UniSA has established the Ralston Medal for Excellence in Physical Chemistry and the John Ralston Chair in Minerals and Resource Engineering in his honour. John also received the Sir Willis Connolly Memorial Lecture Award 2009.

John presently mentors several research teams at UniSA, whilst collaborating with universities, companies and research institutes internationally.

Beryl Jacka Award

This award is named in honour of Beryl Jacka, a stalwart of AusIMM over a period of 40 years and AusIMM Secretary from 1945-76. The award is presented in recognition of extraordinary and sustained service to AusIMM. There are two Beryl Jacka Awards in 2020.

Peter Hills FAusIMM(CP)

Peter Hills has been an AusIMM member since 1982 and has been active in taking on many leadership roles in the previous West Coast and Northern Tasmania Branches. Peter worked at the Beaconsfield mine for many years and played a role in the rescue of the trapped miners during the 2006 mine disaster. He is experienced in managing and monitoring mine seismicity and has written and presented many conference papers for the benefit of mine operators on this and related topics.

Peter has provided invaluable leadership in the Tasmania Branch from 2008, first as Secretary and then Chair from 2013-2019. As a conference chair or committee member, Peter has contributed substantially to many successful AusIMM conferences across a range of disciplines, allowing the sharing of technical knowledge throughout the industry.

Peter has also been a long-serving member of the AusIMM Chartered Professionals Board/Program Committee, which he chaired from 2016-2018. During 2016-2017 he also sat on the Professional Accreditation Advisory Taskforce which revised the Chartered Professional Program. He joined the Consultants Society Committee in 2015 and is its 2019-20 Chair.

Peter has constantly fostered student participation in AusIMM activities, encouraging the future leaders of the industry. Peter previously received an AusIMM Branch Service Award in 2010.


Bob Kininmonth MAusIMM

Bob Kininmonth has been a long-standing AusIMM member with significant involvement in the Illawarra Branch, where he has held a number of committee positions over a career spanning more than 40 years.

Throughout his career Bob has focused on safety, being appointed the NSW Senior Inspector of Coal Mines until 1987, when he joined Coalmines Insurance and finally retired in 1994. He has a strong desire to encourage mining professionals to learn from past incidents so that today’s mines can be as safe as possible.

Bob has also been the author or co-author of several AusIMM publications (including Monograph 12 – Australasian Coal Mining Practice and Monograph 21 – History of Coal Mining in Australia), as well as a convenor of industry conferences and seminars. He is a participant in most Illawarra Branch functions and still maintains an active role in the Illawarra Heritage Subcommittee (which he helped create), and the Southern Coalfields Outburst Committee. Bob has been a long-standing member of the editorial board and latterly co-editor of the annual Coal Operators Conference.

The AusIMM Illawarra Branch has benefitted considerably from Bob’s endeavours to promote learning, professionalism and safety within the coal mining industry. Bob was awarded an AusIMM Branch Service Award in 2000 and an AusIMM Service Award in 2008.

Professional Excellence Awards

These awards recognise professional excellence demonstrated by a resources professional (individual or group) for significant contributions to the development and/or application of professional knowledge and practice and/or leadership.

Steve Morrell FAusIMM

Steve Morrell has made a major contribution to the field of comminution through several decades of research, development, publication and consulting. His methodologies are widely used throughout the world for comminution testing and process design, in particular for predicting comminution energy consumption and measuring circuit energy efficiency.

While working as a researcher at the JKMRC, Steve’s studies developed advanced computational methods for semi-autogenous grinding mill and tumbling mill power draw modelling, which continue to be used worldwide today.



Steve was also a leading figure in the famous AMIRA P9 mineral processing research project, which made numerous advances in the understanding of comminution circuit performance. Remarkably, Steve ran the project while completing his own PhD within the allowed time of three years.

Steve also directly oversaw several other notable research projects in related fields. Much of Steve’s work greatly influenced the way comminution circuits are studied, designed and operated today, and in this field he is considered one of the world’s top consultants. In 2001 and 2004, Steve received an AusIMM Mining Industry Operating Technical Award.

Jim Torlach Award

Named in honour of James (Jim) Torlach, the AusIMM Health and Safety Award recognises notable achievements in health and safety for the minerals sector.

Josh Bryant MAusIMM

Josh Bryant is a professionally qualified geologist with many years of operational experience and senior health and safety roles with Xstrata, BHP and most recently Mitchell Services (MSV), where he holds the position of General Manager – People and Risk.

Initially engaged by MSV as a consultant towards the end of 2015 to recommend steps to improve safety performance, Josh joined their leadership team at the beginning of 2016. Lead by him, MSV have significantly improved employee engagement using a ‘Safety Differently/Safety II’ approach, and there has been a corresponding dramatic reduction in injury frequency and severity, improved working conditions for employees, and a greater understanding and control of critical risks. During a period of significant company growth, safety performance has continued to improve strongly, and as a result MSV has been recognised with a number of industry awards.

A key component of this has been Josh’s personal enthusiasm and engaging leadership style that has connected with employees at all levels of the business to achieve the necessary cultural shift. The initiatives that have been put in place by Josh have resonated with all team members and provide the foundation for continual improvement.

Charles Marshall Award

The Charles Marshall Award recognises AusIMM members who, as consultants, have made outstanding and sustained contributions to the resources industry. Winners are Chartered Professionals who are widely known and respected in the industry and have embodied and reinforced sound and ethical consulting behaviour.

The award is named after Charles Marshall (1904-91), an AusIMM Councillor (1964-74) and President (1969). Charles oversaw the formation of the Minerals Industry Consultants Association (MICA) in 1981, which was incorporated into the AusIMM Consultants Society in 2017.

Mark Noppe FAusIMM(CP)

Mark Noppe has displayed remarkable professionalism during his 34+ year career for the benefit of his clients, his professional colleagues and the sector as a whole, leading by example and sharing his knowledge generously. He is currently Managing Director and Corporate Consultant with SRK Consulting in Australia and has consistently worked to maintain and improve the professional standards of consultants globally since entering the consulting realm in 1997.</p

Mark played an instrumental role in developing and delivering AusIMM’s Online Professional Certificate in JORC Code Reporting course as well as adapting the course material for a China-based market. He was a key facilitator and subject matter expert and provided exemplary leadership to ensure the course material was effectively peer-reviewed and delivered in a professional manner to over 300 participants around the world so far.

Industry professionals continue to benefit from Mark’s professionalism and commitment as he continues to devote his time to upholding professional standards and AusIMM’s commitment to be the trusted voice of the sector.

New Professional Award

The New Professional Award recognises the contribution by a new professional to the sector through operational, academic, service or other notable achievement. It was first awarded in 2004.

This award may be presented to any new resources sector professional (generally within six years of graduation, but at the discretion of the Awards Committee).

Rose Lindner MAusIMM

Rose Lindner became an AusIMM member in her first year at the University of Tasmania (UTAS), and since that time has held leadership roles in a number of AusIMM Communities of Interest. Rose has been Tasmanian Student Chapter Vice President and Secretary, and has continued her AusIMM involvement as the Tasmanian Branch Treasurer in 2018-19, Vice Chair in 2019 and Chair in 2020.

Rose is also the WIMnet Tasmania Secretary (where she helped build and launch their mentoring program), and was a Community and Environment Society Committee member in 2018. Rose’s role in each of these committees has enabled her to broaden her professional experience and share her knowledge.

Rose has displayed leadership on issues affecting women and other groups who are under-represented within the industry. She has also taken on roles of community outreach and education, actively inviting and facilitating mine site visits to share knowledge and build relationships between the local community and operating mines.

Best Paper Prize

Richard (Ted) Bearman FAusIMM, David Bowman and Robert Dunne MAusIMM

The Best Paper Prize may be presented to a resources sector professional who has prepared and published a technical paper through an AusIMM conference during the year.

The 2020 Best Paper Prize is awarded to Richard (Ted) Bearman FAusIMM, David Bowman and Robert Dunne MAusIMM for their paper ‘Decision support for ore sorting and preconcentration in gold applications’, presented at the World Gold 2019 conference.

Institute or Resources Sector Service Awards

These awards may be presented to any AusIMM member or to a group of members. They recognise consistent and significant contribution to the ongoing success of the AusIMM and/or the resources sector.

Bruce Harvey FAusIMM

Bruce has 40 years’ worldwide experience in the mining industry as a geologist and for the past 20 years as a social performance professional. He has been at the forefront of gaining professional recognition for social scientists within the AusIMM and the resources sector generally.

Early in his career Bruce helped establish some of the first exploration access and native title agreements on Aboriginal lands in Australia. As Global Practice Leader – Communities and Social Performance, he drove the early development of Rio Tinto’s social performance system and its global implementation.

He is an Adjunct Professor at the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Otago (New Zealand) MBA School.

Bruce chaired the organising committee for the inaugural AusIMM Social Licence to Operate Forum in 2019, ensuring the proceedings and recommendations were well captured and communicated. As a committee member for the Social and Environment Society he advocates for greater understanding of the importance and application of social science in mining.


John Nethery FAusIMM(CP)

John Nethery has been a geologist for more than 50 years and also has a post-graduate Diploma in Education. He has keenly participated in education within the community and more formally through contributions to the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors throughout his career.

As a resident of Chillagoe, John is a regular media contributor on the importance of the industry, has contributed significant sections on geology and mining to three books, has contributed to permanent geotourism interpretive displays and has presented at seminars in the Far North Queensland (FNQ) region.

John has made a consistent and significant contribution to the ongoing success of the resources sector by building better understanding and respect between professionals and local communities in FNQ.

He has managed and provided consulting geological expertise, technical and logistical support to many explorers globally and in the Chillagoe district and the general region.

John is a regular contributor to the AusIMM FNQ Branch Annual Roundup and Technical Sessions and is a long-standing member of the local branch committee.


Kate Sommerville FAusIMM(CP)

Since joining AusIMM in 1994, Kate has been an active and committed AusIMM member. Her contributions include serving two terms on the AusIMM Board from 2007-2012 and serving on the JORC Committee.

Kate has also played an active role through mentoring and speaking at Women in Mining Network events, as well as appearing on industry panels for a variety of events.

She has shared her knowledge through delivering and reviewing papers on many technical subjects, as well as writing for the AusIMM Bulletin and serving on the conference organising committee for the 2018 Global Mining Leaders Conference.

In 2013 Kate was nominated for and won the 2013 Professions Australia ‘Professional of the Year’ award, a testament to her dedication and expertise.

In 2011 she was recognised as a WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy Women in Resources Champion.

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