Suzy Urbaniak – WIMWA Award for Outstanding Initiative in Promoting and Supporting Women in Mining
Women in Mining, and Resources, Western Australia
Award for outstanding initiative in promoting and supporting women in mining.
Awarded on Friday 12th of September, during the WIMWA Annual Seminar at the Hyatt Hotel Perth to Suzy Urbaniak of Kent Street Senior High School.
Formerly a geologist, Suzy has been a science teacher at Kent St SHS since 2004, specialising in the earth sciences. She has an outstanding reputation for fostering a shared understanding of STEM principles and works passionately to develop every student’s capacity, embedding these principles into her curriculum delivery.
Suzy’s enthusiasm and passion for the earth sciences has clearly rubbed off on many of her students. Kent St SHS has a long history of students going on to study earth sciences at university and working in the resources industry.
One of the many initatives that Suzy has been launched, with industry support, is the bi-annual Kent St Women in Mining Day. This involves girls at the school networking with women working in the industry and engaging in hands on activities to provide them with an insight to the range of occupations available in the mining sector.
Suzy hosts a Curtin University Mining Challenge at Kent St SHS designed to introduce primary school students to the range of careers available in the mining industry. In 2014, six participating schools attended the challenge day with trained year 9 Kent Street students mentoring them.
Arranges bi-annual overseas excursions for students to sites of geological interest including Hawaii, New Zealand and the next adventure is to Iceland and Norway in 2015.
People close to Suzy regularly refer to the fact that she goes beyond the call of duty in all that she does. Among other achievements, Suzy:
– served on the Curriculum Advisory Council of the School Curriculum Standards Authority to create the new Earth and Environmental Sciences senior schooling curriculum;
– runs the Powering Careers in Energy program – a Chevron initiative endorsed by the Schools Curriculum Standards Authority;
– has a long history of success with students representing Kent Street in the WA Petroleum Club state grand finals and the Australian Science and Engineering Challenge;
– arranged for her students to participate in an international Aqua Republic Challenge this year. Kent St SHS students did exceptionally well, ranking 1st, 2nd and 3rd nationally, and all seven participating team ranked in the top ten internationally;
– works hard to develop a collegiate network to link Kent St SHS alumni with current students. This year, 3 former Kent St students who are currently studying earth sciences at a tertiary level will accompany Suzy and her students on the field trip to Iceland;
– gives of her own time to foster the passion and skillset in colleagues to ensure the integrity of the earth science curriculum delivery by running hands on workshops for teachers and lab technicians based in schools;
– is the driving force behind the ongoing effort to achieve approved specialist program status in geo-science, mining and energy. This requires the school to source all their own funding for this program, and Suzy has been working closely with industry contacts to achieve this.
You can watch Suzy’s presentation below.