Find out more about what it’s like to work at OceanaGold
Commercial Manager | Melbourne, Australia
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.”
“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.”
Social Performance Advisor, Brisbane, Australia
‘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.
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.”
“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.”