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AusIMM’s 2022 Thought Leadership Series recap: Change in an era of disruption

· 560 words, 4 min read

AusIMM’s highly regarded Thought Leadership Series returned in 2022, with five on demand webinars from July to September exploring the role of resources professionals in an era of disruption.  

Throughout the Series, more than 1400 participants heard from an incredible and diverse collection of speakers and industry leaders who explored key issues affecting the resources industry, including Indigenous participation, global mining trends, technology and decarbonisation, future workforce and critical minerals.  

The Series was supported by a range of partners, including PwC, Ausenco, CSIRO, Fortescue Metals Group, Metallurgical Systems and Weir. The breadth of experience and knowledge featured made the 2022 Series one of the most wide-ranging to date. You can now watch all webinars on demand via the TLS website, or read our recap below.  

The first webinar of the Series,Indigenous participation’, featured a panel moderated by Dr Michelle Evans, Associate Professor in Leadership at the University of Melbourne. Dr Evans led a panel with Sorell Ashby (Guumali); Kia Dowell (Gelganyem Limited); Leslie Delaforce (Minderoo Foundation) and Russell Reid (WSP). The group discussed recognising First Nations peoples’ skills and strengths, building early and lasting relationships, and better understanding and investing in a range of business models.  

In the second webinar, Leigh Slomp FAusIMM (Chief Advisor Professional Standards, AusIMM) and Debbie Smith (National Mining Leader, PwC Australia) explored PwC’s latest global mining report, Mine 2022: A critical transition, and provided an insight into the key issues most impacting mining companies in Australia and around the world.  

Next on the agenda was a discussion on technology and decarbonisation featuring a panel of experts: John Vagenas FAusIMM (Metallurgical Systems); Matt Pyle MAusIMM (Ausenco); Rakalene Condon (Everledger); and Wayne McFaull (Fortescue). In a fascinating session led by moderator Marghanita Johnson (Australian Aluminium Council), the panelists explored how to drive a more sustainable economy through technology and automation in the resources industry. They also covered the critical role that resources professionals play in successfully managing the deployment of this technology. 

The Series continued with another panel discussing the future workforce. Dr Gavin Lind (AUSMESA), Professor Ismet Canbulat FAusIMM (UNSW); Michelle Gibson (BHP); and Nikki Hartrey (Agnico Eagle) were joined by AusIMM Director and facilitator Nicole Brook FAusIMM to take a deep dive into growing skills challenges for the resources industry. The panellists discussed a declining supply of graduates, strong competition with other industries for talent, and an ageing workforce of traditional miners.  

The final webinar in the Series covered ‘Critical Minerals’, with a panel of experts discussing how to secure Australia’s competitive advantage to meet the world’s critical minerals needs. Megan McCracken GAICD led a panel featuring Amanda Lacaze (Lynas Rare Earths); Chris Reed (Neometals); Dr Chris Vernon (CSIRO) and Marnie Finlayson (Rio Tinto) to discuss how Australia can leverage its significant mineral reserves to capitalise on the growing demand for these essential resources.  

AusIMM’s Thought Leadership Series will continue next year, with topics and dates to be announced. To stay informed, sign up to the mailing list to hear the first news of the next instalment in this annual event. Visit  

Thank you to our partners 

AusIMM would like to acknowledge our Thought Leadership Series partners for their support in delivering our 2022 Series to a global audience.  

Signature Partner PWC 

Major Partners Ausenco, CSIRO, Fortescue, Metallurgical Systems, Weir Minerals 

Associate Partner Caterpillar 

Supporting Partner UNSW  


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