woman, mining, wheel

Dee's path to a career in mining

Military Veteran, Police Veteran, Flight Attendant, Contracts Superintendent, Charity Founder, local RSL member, wife and mum — Dee Malek has worn and continues to wear many hats, but says she’s found her “home” at BHP in the Maintenance and Engineering Centre of Excellence (MECoE) Planning & Scheduling Team.

Dee said that her diverse career background equipped her for a career in mining.

“My different roles taught me many things that I have been able to apply to my current role, including the ability to adapt, a strong teamwork philosophy, and knowing how to speak to a variety of people,” she said.

“I found my home in the MECoE Planning & Scheduling Team because of the great people, and for me, being ‘home’ is being comfortable — and that is how I feel with everyone in my team: comfortable, safe and supported."

“We celebrate our wins, we rejoice in our achievements, we support each other on challenging days, and we work collaboratively to ensure the best results are delivered to a high standard.”

As a Njamal Woman, an Indigenous tribe from the Pilbara area of north-western Western Australia, Dee has certainly done her culture proud as a grassroots Indigenous advocate of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, which included leading a group of 30 BHP employees to Uluru as ambassadors. This work was recognised and awarded the QRC (Queensland Resources Council) Indigenous Advocate of the Year in 2019.

Dee has been with BHP for seven years, five of which she has worked in the MECoE.

“My role as a Specialist Scheduler for Saraji Mine is the best job I have had,” she said.

“I get to guide, mentor, ask questions, think outside the box, learn and develop; and my days are always extremely varied.

“I love the atmosphere. There’s lots of action and excitement that comes with racing to get the job done — I love the feeling of a deadline; it gets the adrenalin pumping.”

An added bonus from her time working at BHP, one fateful day at the coffee machine in the Brisbane Office, Dee met her now husband who also happens to work in the MECoE and they have a two-year-old daughter. 

Aside from her role, Dee also enjoys participating in other BHP social groups, the Coal Indigenous Network, fun runs, including the BHP Brisbane Marathon, Jasper, and is a committee member of the Coal NAIDOC Committee and MECoE Inclusion & Diversity Council.

In her spare time, Dee was also the founder and owner of a charity that helped provide mothers with clothes for their babies, has recently joined the local RSL (Returned and Services League of Australia) and has her sights set on assisting retired Veterans in the near future.