Keeping business and sporting wheels turning across the Bowen Basin

National Group’s Emily Maddern uses her organisation and compliance skills to great effect

Moranbah Junior Football Club with National Group supplied drink bottles

In 2021, the Moranbah Bulldogs AFC club in Central Queensland needed more water bottles. Covid-safe protocol required players to have their own bottle rather than share.

Club Registrar Emily Maddern organised for National Group to supply 200 water bottles that were given to the club’s juniors during their Australian Football League (AFL) carnival.

The logistics were a breeze. As National Group’s Compliance Coordinator in the Bowen Basin, Maddern is known for her organisation and compliance skills.

She has a big role. With other admin staff, Maddern looks after six National Group sites across the Bowen Basin. Tasks range from organising purchase orders, payroll and accommodation, to liaising with clients about their compliance requirements.

In effect, Maddern helps keep the wheels turning for more than 100 pieces of National Group equipment and dozens of maintenance staff across the Bowen Basin.

“If something can’t be found, people say, ‘ring Emily, she’ll know where it is,” quips Maddern. “I know every single piece of National Group equipment in the Bowen Basin.”

Maddern’s role continues to expand. In early 2022, National Group started a new contract for Anglo American Australia on its two expanding open-cut coal mines at its Capcoal operation in the Bowen Basin (Lake Lindsay and Oak Park).

“I spent a lot of time setting up the admin for Lake Lindsay/Oak Park, and the National Group machinery there,” she says. “Once I set up the systems, I hand over the admin side to another person in our team and focus on client liaison and compliance issues.”

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Compliance focus

Maddern works with National Group clients to understand their on-site compliance requirements. “Each client has its own way of doing things on site. I work with the National Group planning teams to make sure our equipment is being serviced at the right time, in the right way, to meet our client’s compliance requirements.”

Maddern gives the example of fire-suppression maintenance. “A client’s compliance protocols might require fire-suppression maintenance on a piece of equipment every six months. I make sure the service has been booked in, completed, and recorded.”

The work is anything but routine. “Compliance is so important,” says Maddern. “You need really strong compliance systems and processes to literally have a licence to operate on a mining site. Ensuring our equipment complies with all the standards is vital for safety.”

Maddern, 31, deals with the head office of some of the world’s biggest mining companies on equipment compliance. “It really helps our clients having one point of contact on compliance admin for National Group in the Bowen Basin. They know who to call if they need anything. Over time, you build good working relationships with compliance staff at clients.”

Maddern’s long-term career aspiration is to develop a more specialised compliance role at National Group. “Compliance suits me because I’m a bit obsessive about detail, love my spreadsheets, and like organising people and things. I also like that compliance rules don’t change a lot. Over time, I’d like to expand my compliance work and there should be more opportunities as National Group keeps growing.”

Rewarding role

Originally from Bowen in North Queensland, Maddern joined National Group in 2015. During that time, she’s watched National Group win several contracts in the coal industry. “When I started, I was the only person doing admin for National Group in this area. Now we have a team of admin staff. I’ve taken on more responsibility.”

Despite her busy role, Maddern finds time for another passion: women’s AFL. She ran the water bottle at a game for some friends and they convinced her to join the team. “I thought AFL might be kinder on my body than rugby league,” she jokes. “That was a mistake! AFL is a tough game, but I love playing as a defender on the flank or as fullback.”

Maddern says the 200 water bottles supplied by National Group made a difference. “Even small gestures can make a big difference to sporting clubs in country towns. The water bottles helped the club make sure its players could keep playing. National Group didn’t hesitate to help the club out.”

Over many years, National Group has provided low-key support for sporting and other clubs where its employees work, as part of its corporate social responsibility program. “It’s great when the company you work for gives back to the local community,” says Maddern.