Leanne Ryder's story

I am the Human Resources (HR) Manager for Glencore's North Queensland Copper Assets, so I am responsible for leading a team of HR professionals to deliver advice on all matters relating to our people at Mount Isa Mines, Ernest Henry Mining and our Townsville Refinery and Port operations. We're also here to support our workforce with anything to do with the terms and conditions of their employment at any stage of their career with us.

My team and I also aim to champion a professional culture that encourages our people to work to their full potential. We do this through leadership development programs and strategic career succession planning as well as putting robust systems in place to make sure our work environment is free of discrimination or bullying.

I like helping people the most. I enjoy being able to play a part in providing opportunities for people to establish long careers in the mining industry and grow to be the best they can be. It's a good feeling to be able to help our people find their own success and job satisfaction.

Fostering change

I started my career with Mount Isa Mines in 1987 and had my first foray into the HR space as a workplace change facilitator just after the infamous 1995 Mount Isa Mines lockout. At the time, Mount Isa Mines was undergoing a major restructure to transfer all of our employee terms and conditions from the old Mount Isa Mines Award to a new 'M' structure.

Back in those days Mount Isa Mines had a number of HR departments, but most of the action came from the Industrial Relations department. This group dealt with all employee problems on site and as a workplace change facilitator I worked with them closely. My job was to liaise with our employee representatives to design job paths that offered better skills and career development. The conflict resolution process was challenging, but it taught me so much about working with unions and overcoming disputes.

Since then I've had the opportunity to work in all fields of Human Resources right across our site. Having the chance to immerse myself in our business, through the good times and the bad, has given me a deep understanding and appreciation for the HR and industrial relations issues that impact our people, our business and our community.

From steel toes to pointe shoes

Mount Isa offers every opportunity for you to do whatever you want. The people here are welcoming and prepared to get involved in the community to make Mount Isa a more interesting, vibrant place to live.

For about 18 years now I have balanced my work at the mine with my other role as the principal dance teacher at the Mount Isa School of Dance. It's fantastic having the chance to pursue my passion for teaching classical ballet to our city's budding ballerinas.

Watching my students develop into mature, confident, organised and disciplined young people is what I love most about teaching ballet to kids in our community. Many of my past students have gone on to lead successful careers not just in dance but in professional roles, and it makes me so proud to have a hand in helping them grow into being well-rounded, capable adults.

A family affair

I've worked for Mount Isa Mines for almost 30 years now and like many families in Mount Isa, most of mine work in mining. My husband Barry is the Senior Safety and Training Advisor in the Central Services department, my eldest son Lachlan is an apprentice with a local contractor, my dad Ron still works as the Cap Lamp attendant at George Fisher Mine, my sister Vicki is the Senior Skills Centre Advisor in the Health, Safety, Environment and Community department and my brother-in-law Brian is a Supervisor in the Copper Concentrator.

Like most born-and-bred Mount Isans, I grew up with a sense of Mount Isa Mines being 'our' mine. It's part of who we are and where we come from. The best part about working for Mount Isa Mines is being able to, in our own way, contribute to the mine's longevity and success.