Share the Story:

Tracey Sneddon My Mining Life

Who are you and what do you do?

Tracey Snedden, I’m the Community Relations Coordinator for Glencore Coal Assets Australia (GCAA – Glencore’s corporate office)

When did you start in the mining industry and what was your first job?

I started as a mature-aged Graduate Environmental Scientist with Glencore in late 2017, working at the Mangoola Open Cut and Ulan Underground operations before moving over to my dream role in community engagement with the GCAA team. The Glencore Graduate Program gave me exposure to all the different operational areas of coal mining so that I could get a really well-rounded view of how it all works.

How different is your job now to what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

Well, this isn’t my first rodeo! As a kid I wanted to be a pilot in the air force, but that wasn’t possible for women back in the 1980s. I ended up joining the NSW Police Force which I really loved. The mining industry has that same awesome sense of comradery and team spirit that I admire.

What’s a usual day at work entail?

I now work from our Newcastle office, but my job takes me across all of our Glencore coal mines in NSW and Queensland. I get to visit Environment and Community site personnel to assist with community engagement and community investment advice, as well as local community groups and individuals to discuss their needs and challenges. I also manage our Glencore grant programs across both states.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I get to travel a lot and assist our site Environment personnel. I’m like a link between site-life and corporate office which helps keep our teams informed and well trained in our systems. I also get to interact with a lot of community members and groups via our grant support program. Being able to help Not For Profit groups in and around our operations is a real highlight – the recipients are so grateful of our support and ongoing interest and care in their project.

The worst thing?

We get so many quality grant applications and requests for assistance. Unfortunately, we cannot support every request, although we would love to!

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Starting in the industry as a mature age person. I was in my 40s when I went back to university and there weren’t a lot of mining jobs available when I graduated. I had to do other enviro type jobs until I landed a start with the Glencore Graduate program. I came into the role with a lot of life experience, but no industry experience.

What has been your proudest achievement?

I’m very lucky that I’ve had a lifetime full of personal achievements. A loving partner, two awesome kids (sorry, adults now), multiple rewarding careers and a fearless outlook on life. Professionally, I’m so proud to work with the team I’m now in. I’m surrounded by individuals who have a real sense of purpose with great morals and very high standards.

What’s something about your job that would surprise people to know?

A lot of people think that working in Community Relations would equate to a lot of angry people complaining about mining – it is so the opposite! Community partnerships are very positive things to invest in, and our interactions with neighbours and local groups are based on trust, truth and openness. This makes my job much easier than people think.

What do you do in your downtime?

We have a good ole boat that we love to get out on Lake Macquarie whenever we can, just to put around on and enjoy the water. I’m also a bit of a lap swimmer and an avid SCUBA diver.

The mining industry gets more than its fair share of criticism. What is your view of our industry and the impact it has?

I think it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by negative media coverage and social media commentary about our industry. However, I like to believe that the reality is that a lot of people in our communities really value what we do and understand the importance of coal as a resource locally, nationally and internationally. We shouldn’t be afraid to share our successes in this space.

Share the Story: