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Alaster Wylie, General Manager of Mines Rescue/Regulation & Compliance, has been nominated and accepted a prestigious position on the board of the International Mines Rescue Body (IMRB). We caught up with Alaster to hear about the journey that led him there.

Alaster started out as an underground operator at 19 years old, fresh out of school. Though while he left school behind, he didn’t stop hitting the books, notching up a bunch of certifications as he rose through the ranks. First deputy, then undermanager, then mining engineering manager, not to mention managing plenty of large scale projects. His trajectory was well on its way to the very top, however in 2019 Alaster made the decision to jump ship and apply for a position with NSW Mines Rescue.

While it was a step in a whole new direction, it’s one that felt right to Alaster. Because from way back when he very first started in the industry, Alaster has been passionate about mines rescue.

“When I first started at Metropolitan mine, I knew wanted to be a brigade member. I looked up to them. As soon as a position came up on the team I applied and I was lucky enough to be selected,” shared Alaster.

“Not long after joining the team I became Captain, and I remained as Captain for the next 10 years. So much of what I have learnt about leadership and teamwork has come from being a part of a mines rescue team. It gave me confidence and taught me to think on my feet. So, when the role came up with Mines Rescue, I felt it was an opportunity I had to go for.”

Since starting with NSW Mines Rescue in 2019, Alaster has once again moved up the ranks, taking on the GM position six months ago and now the impressive nomination to the IMRB board.

The IMRB stands as the world’s largest network of mines rescue professionals, responders, and specialists. It’s at the forefront of mining jurisdictions, sharing intelligence, and enhancing emergency response capabilities on a global scale. It puts Alaster in a position where he’s not just helping to improve emergency response capabilities in NSW or Australia, but across the international mining community.

Lucy Flemming, Managing Director/CEO of Coal Services said that Alaster’s appointment to the IMRB board is a source of immense pride for Coal Services.

“Alaster’s nomination to the IMRB board serves as a testament to his dedication, expertise, and outstanding leadership. It reflects his remarkable contributions to our organisation and reaffirms our commitment to fostering innovation and safety in the mining industry. We believe that Alaster’s expertise and dedication will make a significant impact on mine safety efforts worldwide,” Lucy said.

Alaster said that he was honoured by the nomination and looking forward to joining an organisation that is dedicated to sharing knowledge and skills to improve the safety of all.

“NSW Mines Rescue was a key founding member of the IMRB when the organisation started in 2001 and today it comprises 24 member countries and 10 associate members. It is a privilege to represent our industry at this level and to continue to shape the future of mine safety and emergency response practices globally.

“Everything we do at Mines Rescue is about keeping people safe. Every few months someone will come up to me and tell me about how they were involved in a situation where they put their training to use. I’m not just talking about incidents in workplaces either. It could be a car accident or a member of the community needing first aid. They were able to take control and help a situation because their training enabled them to know exactly what to do.

“There’s nothing more rewarding then hearing these stories about lives being saved and people being helped.”

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