Julie Murdy, HSE Manager at Franna®, manufacturer of pick and carry cranes and Terex® Jaques, manufacturer of modular, portable, and static mineral screening equipment, shares her experience working in the manufacturing industry in a bid to inspire women and break down stereotypes that manufacturing jobs are just for men.
Julie’s varied career began with a large car manufacturer in South Australia where she dealt with risk management, injury management and worker’s compensation. Moving to Nhulunbuy, a remote town in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Julie then worked for the Northern Territory Police Fire and Emergency Services with a focus on counter disaster management. Her career progressed to the mining industry, where she undertook training in ISO Standards for Quality, OHS and Environment, all while being mentored by the site’s HSE Manager and undergoing training to become a Lead Auditor. Julie explains, “I found the audits interesting, there was a wealth of differing activities and tasks with so much to learn—I found it to be a very fascinating working environment. It was certainly a change after spending most of my time in an office prior to this.”
The skillset Julie developed across HSE leant itself well to consider a career in other industries, and indeed, she places value in enhancing her skillset by applying it to different industries. “HSE requirements are very similar no matter what company or organisation you work for. It is an area where there is always something to learn, and I believe that working in different industries creates a larger skillset in dealing with hazards and risk controls.”
Julie took a leap from the mining industry and joined Franna and Terex Jaques in November 2021, which was a memorable day for Julie, “It was the best start as it was the day Franna celebrated their 5000th crane! It was a great day to meet the team, who were very welcoming, and to enjoy the celebrations with them.” As part of Terex, a global manufacturer of materials processing and lifting solutions, both Franna and Terex Jaques take the Terex "Zero Harm" approach very seriously and instil a responsibility across its businesses for continuous improvement. Julie explains how varied her role is with the opportunity to work across various functions and further her HSE knowledge and skillset. “I love that I get to work across not only locally, but with the other Terex businesses across the world. Whether it is corporate reporting, supporting a team member to work through a risk assessment, or auditing to make sure we are operating safely and compliantly, working in a HSE role at Terex introduces you to every department and is a continuous improvement process, so there is a new learning every day on how something works or operates. Working towards “Zero Harm” and under the Terex Way values promote the sharing of knowledge and encourages and supports everyone to contribute towards better safety practice—this is very rewarding.”
Working within HSE in the manufacturing industry does come with certain challenges, “Maintaining a constant vigilance is critical to ensure information and guidance provided to management and team members is relevant to the Franna business, in terms of business tasks and operations. At the end of the day, our key priority is that our people come to work and go home safe and sound,” says Julie.
Julie has seen changes throughout her career, with more women being involved at all levels in what was traditionally perceived to be a very male-orientated profession. “Regardless of any discriminatory titles—the outcome for everyone is a job well done, this is the goal we all need to achieve. I would advise any woman considering a career in manufacturing to give it a go—this industry is fantastic for broadening your personal skills. My career has been interesting, fulfilling and I haven’t looked back.”
Franna is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining strong talent, and offers many of the Terex global programmes to drive diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and support team members through mentorship and tailored programmes to become future leaders. Julie explains, “I am proud to work for a company that appreciates the value of a diverse workforce. The global support that comes with working at Terex is terrific as we all work together towards our goal of Zero Harm. It is very rewarding to work for a company that lives by the Terex Way values in everything they do every day.”