27 March 2024

Whitehaven’s Keryn Zambrowski wins 2024 Exceptional Woman Award

Whitehaven’s Keryn Zambrowski claimed one of the mining industry’s most prestigious honours last week, as she took home the Exceptional Woman Award at the NSW Minerals Council’s Women in Mining Awards.

Keryn, Whitehaven’s Senior Manager – Investor Relations, overcame the industry’s brightest and most successful women after impressing the judging panel with her diverse career to date.

The Exceptional Woman award recognises the outstanding contributions of a woman in the NSW resources sector, highlighting Keryn’s resilience and leadership, as well as her ability to overcome obstacles, embrace new roles and overcome challenges. It also commends her efforts in promoting the industry’s social responsibility, including community engagement, gender diversity, and sustainability initiatives.

Now in its sixth year, this year’s Awards ceremony took place in the Pearl Ballroom at Crown Sydney, with Keryn, Whitehaven representatives and industry participants in attendance.

Whitehaven Coal’s CEO and Managing Director, Paul Flynn, was delighted to see Keryn take home the award and praised her for the hard work and commitment she’s shown throughout her career.

“This is an incredible achievement and one that Keryn should be very proud of, as we all are at Whitehaven,” he added.

“Receiving the endorsement of our industry peers is one of the highest accolades available and on behalf of everyone at Whitehaven, I’d like to congratulate Keryn.

“Keryn’s success is the result of an 18-year journey through our industry, and receiving this award is well-deserved recognition for her dedication, adaptability, and drive to succeed throughout this time.

“She has had a profound impact on our business, not only through her own work but also as a mentor to other young women seeking to forge a career at Whitehaven.

“Keryn is an asset to our industry and I am delighted to see her recognised with this year’s Exceptional Woman in mining. I look forward to her continued success in years to come.”

Growing up in the coal-rich landscape of Stanford Merthyr in the Hunter Valley, Keryn’s path to Whitehaven has seen her gain a wide range of experience. After pursuing a commerce degree, her journey in the mining sector began in an accounting role at Peabody before she transitioned into coal trading, which gave her the opportunity to work internationally in London and Singapore.

These experiences taught Keryn about resilience and allowed her to build unique expertise and insights, before ultimately bringing her full circle back to Newcastle where she has spent the last nine years with Whitehaven.

“When I was younger, I knew a career in mining was possible but I didn’t initially appreciate the wide range of opportunities it could bring,” Keryn reflected.

“I’m grateful for the diverse experiences I’ve had over the past 18 years and I’m proud of what I’ve been able to achieve along the way.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a number of great mentors throughout my career and I’m enjoying having the opportunity now to pass on some of what I’ve learnt to other young women at Whitehaven as well as externally.

“It is important for senior females and males to continue to be positive role models and create opportunities for others to have a fulfilling career in mining, no matter what role they are doing. The industry is taking great strides in improving diversity and inclusion, which we need to continue to progress.”

During her nine years at Whitehaven, Keryn has held several different roles. After becoming Whitehaven’s first female marketer, she made a successful transition to a senior Investor Relations role in 2022 and has consistently sought to take on greater responsibility and stretch her skills.

“I’m a big believer that you need to take control of your own career and embrace challenges, and that’s something I’ve always tried to do,” said Keryn.

“Winning this award means a lot to me and it shows what you can achieve through hard work and a willingness to back yourself.”

Keryn is a graduate of Whitehaven’s Women’s Leadership Development Program, which aims to inspire and equip high-potential and senior female leaders with the skills to grow, and she continues to provide both formal and informal mentoring to up-and-coming women across the business.

Keryn will now go on to represent NSW at the Women in Resources National Awards, hosted by the Minerals Council of Australia in Canberra later this year. 

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