Speaker Spotlight: Cecile Thaxter

8 September 2020

AusIMM is delighted to announce Cecile Thaxter as one of our outstanding keynote speakers at the upcoming Minesafe International Digital Conference 2020. We sat down with Cecile to discuss her views on health & safety as well as some of the key themes she will cover in her keynote presentation.


Cecile is currently Vice President for Health, Safety & Environment for Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore business, providing sound leadership and ensuring continuous improvement in culture.

Cecile believes health and safety in mining is a core value for success; at Minesafe 2020 this September she will discuss how Rio Tinto Iron Ore ensured the health and safety of its people and communities during COVID-19, partly by leveraging existing systems and influencing mindsets.

As all professionals have faced challenges due to the current pandemic, Cecile has led her team with a clear focus: protecting people and communities, keeping operations running safely and ensuring general wellbeing.

“We treated COVID-19 like other risks in our business and applied the hierarchy of hazard controls, a known system within our industry, to reduce and control exposures. Protecting the health of our people and communities is always at the forefront of how we operate.”

COVID-19 has brought into focus mental health within the resources sector and Cecile and her team have encouraged and supported mining professionals to care for each other during this time, along with providing ongoing mental health support.

“We aim to foster a culture where mental health is viewed as part of our general wellbeing: our people feel comfortable to share, and our leaders are equipped to address issues. To that end, we provide various training and workshops tailored for the general population, our leaders, and our peer supporters.”

“We always apply a holistic approach with leaders creating a culture of care and empowering our people to utilise the appropriate systems and tools to reduce risks.”

Ultimately, Cecile hopes the key takeaway from her presentation will be a positive one: that safety is a core value to doing business and achieving success, and that every professional has a role to play in the current climate.

“We should all feel proud to be part of the resource industry, which has had the privilege of being able to continue to operate and play a pivotal role in our economy – with talented and committed people working together safely.”

To hear more from Cecile and other keynote speakers, register now.

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