Belinda Grealy

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Engineer, Belinda Grealy is an Area Business Manager for Orica, a company that manufactures explosives for the mining industry. Belinda did not always want to be an engineer. At school, she really enjoyed the maths and chemistry and she originally wanted to be a vet or a doctor, but when she did work experience in Year 10 she realised that she was no good with blood!

"My mum was great in taking me to University Open Days so I could get a feel for where I would like to study."

When she left school, Belinda received a cadetship from BHP. This allowed her to work full-time at BHP from the age of 17 while studying Chemical Engineering part time at the University of Newcastle. Her first job was as a Process Engineer. She had to look at any process in the business and understand how it could be improved. Belinda worked in the steel and aluminium industries and in transport and logistics before her current position at. Orica.

Belinda now manages a 100 people. They are a diverse team of skilled people focusing on commercial (sales and purchasing), operations (the blasting) and technical staff who are the experts in different areas. Her role involves reviewing designs, concepts, data, technology opportunities and presentations.

My day to day involves a combination of: coaching, supporting, decision making, leadership, change management, questioning, analysis of data, challenging, collaboration, thinking, speaking, negotiating, strategy development and execution to meet or exceed targets that span safety, customer, people and performance.

Belinda chose to work for Orica because it is a global company based in Australia.  Global experiences  provide her with challenges across many fields of customer and employee relations. She says that one of the benefits is that she can travel to places she wouldn’t normally go, working with people in other countries that have distinctive styles and unique challenges. 

Belinda has built a successful career in engineering which is a male-dominated industry. She stresses the importance of seeking an advocate or a mentor in the work place, someone to speak up on her behalf and provide advice.

I have three children who have now all left school. While the children were younger I worked part-time but went back to full-time work as soon as possible. I looked for companies who provided flexible work arrangements and rewarded staff on outcomes rather than time spent in the office.

Belinda says that the key personal attributes and skills that have contributed to her success are:

  • leadership and backing yourself
  • good communication skills
  • networking
  • collaboration with and empowering team members
  • critical thinking
  • building resilience and capacity for change

It’s really rewarding to have collaboration across functions for an even better outcome than imagined, making opportunities for individuals to use their strengths for personal and team success.