‘Determined’ is a word that comes to mind when describing OceanaGold’s Social Performance Advisor, Danielle Crawford. ‘Ambitious’ also encapsulates her drive but is a less generous explanation of her calm and thoughtful approach, especially when it comes to community.
A proud Maori woman, and growing up in the heart of New Zealand’s mining township of Waihi, where OceanaGold now owns and operates extensive mining operations, Danielle’s resolve was displayed long before joining the company.
“We are lean, but we are respected for our expertise, treated as integral to the organisation and have the ability to affect change. OceanaGold is big in integrity.”
As well has completing a law degree in Auckland and being admitted to the bar of the High Court of New Zealand, she majored in indigenous studies and sociology. She also went home every summer holiday for 5 years to work at the Waihi Operation (then owned by Newmont Mining) until she graduated.
“That was my first taste of the industry and I loved it,” Danielle said. “When OceanaGold purchased Newmont in 2016, they offered me the role of Community Support Advisor and I didn’t think twice – it was a role that perfectly blended mining and our social licence to operate by working with community, government and iwi.”
Head of External Affairs and Social Performance Sharon Flynn soon saw Danielle’s work first-hand and obviously saw future leadership potential. She invited Danielle to present on the social impact management process conducted at Waihi to the Didipio team in the Philippines.
“At the end of that presentation, Sharon congratulated me on my promotion,” she said. “I was so surprised – I had no idea I was being covertly interviewed! I admired her innovative approach, and of course amazing opportunities have followed.”
The promotion led Danielle to Brisbane where she helped deliver the company’s first External Affairs and Social Performance Manual, which has been developed to capture management systems and processes to protect and enhance the company’s reputation as a responsible miner.
“OceanaGold took a risk on me. I got pushed out of my comfort zone and I can’t tell you how valued that makes me feel,” she said.
“Because we are a small company, we are lean, and it pushes us to be more fluid. We have the ability to affect change and it’s genuine.
“From the Executive level down, we are recognised as individuals and respected for what each of us brings to the table. There are no barriers to leadership and for my own personal growth, that means I’m learning all the recipes for good leadership and how to create and nurture high-performance teams.
“OceanaGold may be small in size, but we are big in integrity.”