Gemma White (Kinslow)

Gemma White
Gemma White

Current job
Specialist Corporate Affairs, BHP Billiton, Perth.

Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Journalism 2007.

First job
Graduate Community & Indigenous Affairs, BHP Billiton.

Story so far
Working for the world’s largest diversified resources company, I’ve had the opportunity to progress through a range of dynamic roles in a continually changing environment.

After finishing University, I moved 3,400 kilometres across the country to a small, extremely remote Pilbara mining town. Despite the harsh environment, temperatures of over 40 degrees for half the year and a lack of decent coffee it was a great foundation for the years to come.

After completing the graduate program, I jumped at the opportunity to move to Perth for a social investment role in the corporate office. There I managed a $20 million portfolio of community partnerships including the company’s first community-based environmental programs. It was incredibly rewarding to work with passionate organisations on programs that produced real benefits for the environment, community and local Indigenous groups.

Then an exciting opportunity became available working across the company’s $50 billion major development program. Even though I was too junior for the role and there were far more experienced applicants I somehow convinced my senior manager to give me a chance. Fortunately it paid off, and during a period of unprecedented growth I managed communications, coordinated stakeholder engagement, ensured approvals were attained on schedule and provided solutions for managing social impact through project design and delivery.

When the iron market changed, many of these projects were deferred or kept in feasibility stage. So I saw it as a good time to expand my experience into strategy, analysis and improvement based roles providing strategic thinking, reputation management, business planning, and risk management support with the company’s Corporate Affairs function.

I believe the skills we develop at QUT News are highly valued in a corporate environment. Meeting demanding deadlines, changing direction quickly as situations change, having the confidence to ask questions and targeting information to its audience are critical to success in any workplace.