Commercial Manager | Melbourne, Australia
“Our culture and organisational values are what attracted me to OceanaGold and they keep me driven, accountable and motivated to support the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives. We are pragmatic and agile and take our obligations as a responsible mining company incredibly seriously.”
Born on the Zambian copper belt and relocating to Poland as a child, Richard Ozga immigrated to Australia in the late 1980s where he and his family settled in Kambalda, in the heart of the Western Australian goldfields.
With a mining engineer father, whose job saw the family relocating about 17 times before finally settling in Melbourne, Australia, Richard was perhaps destined for a career in the resources sector.
“This might seem like an unsettled childhood, but growing up in Kambalda was fantastic for a kid – riding bikes through the bush, playing footy and cricket on the dust bowl and hanging out with friends – I have very fond memories of the sense of community that it provided,” Richard said.
Richard draws parallels between the tight-knit, small-town culture and OceanaGold, where he commenced in 2014 as a Financial Superintendent at the Globe Progress Mine (now the Reefton Restoration Project).
“No matter which site I’ve worked at or travelled to over the past seven years, and whether the interactions between people have been across the boardroom or the crib room, I’ve seen the same values instilled in all of our people.
“And it’s not lip service. Our whole management system and the decisions made at every level are framed around our company values. It is a genuine way of behaving, interacting and moderating which empowers people across the organisation.”
“It allows our organisation to be pragmatic and agile, while having a really strong foundation. It’s really refreshing.”
Richard says it’s also why OceanaGold attracts a global talent pool that rivals other, larger mining companies.
“Take for instance our Environment and Community Manager at Macraes, Gavin Lee, who might consider himself, at least in part, an environmental ‘activist’.
“Of course, stereotypically, the mining sector might not seem like a natural fit for Gavin, yet he is an incredibly engaged employee who is passionate about mining the right way and we – as a company and across the sector – have greatly benefited from his expertise on our responsible mining operations. We are better because of people like him.”