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Celebrating Women and Girls in Science

Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science with this year’s theme “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us.”

Science plays an important role in Opal’s day to day operations in Australia and New Zealand and we’re proud to recognise the contribution our female team members make, through science, across our different sites.

Pictured are some of our Women in Science at Opal’s Maryvale Mill.

Pictured are some of our Women in Science at Opal’s Botany Mill.

Two of Opal’s women in science, Holly, Machine operator at Opal Paper & Recycling Botany Mill, and Sonya, Graduate Process Engineer at Opal Australian Paper Maryvale Mill, have shared insights about their work and what the theme of this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science means to them.

Holly, Machine Operator

Holly has worked at Opal for more than six years commencing her first role as a process tester. Holly has had the opportunity to be a part of the commissioning of Opal Paper & Recycling Botany Mill’s secondary water treatment plant.

“This involved all the routine testing and troubleshooting that goes into starting up a new process. I now use these skills in my current role as a machine operator, running the plant from an operations point of view. My previous roles have definitely given me more experience and knowledge to troubleshoot issues if they arise.

This year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science theme: “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”, means a lot to Holly – both professionally and personally.

“I think water unites us as it is essential for life, it’s really the one thing that we all collectively need to survive. I feel proud to be a part of a company that takes its role with water and the environment seriously, implementing the secondary water treatment plant to do our part in the continuous recycle / reuse water cycle,” she says.

“On a more personal note, growing up near the beach, I have seen water play an important role in bringing people together, forming a community feel whether it’s for sport or leisure. Water has always and will continue to play a huge part in my life, being a lover of both the ocean and more recently the snow,” Holly said.


Sonya, Graduate Process Engineer

Sonya joined Opal a year ago after studying a Bachelor of Science (Chemical Systems) followed by a Master of Chemical Engineering at the University of Melbourne.

“I enjoyed maths and science subjects throughout school and university. I figured that Chemical Engineering would be an ideal choice for me as it combined chemistry, maths and problem-solving. My father is a mechanical engineer, so I was naturally drawn to the engineering profession,” Sonya says.

Every day Sonya applies maths and science principles to troubleshoot and identify engineering solutions at the Maryvale site.

During Sonya’s time at Opal, she has worked on a series of water-based projects including how to improve flow performance in sewer pipes, wastewater treatment and temperature control in the wastewater system. Sonya’s work has involved finding the root causes, designing a pipe distribution network, and performing calculations to find the best solutions.

Sonya says, “No matter what you look like on the outside or believe on the inside, we’re all roughly 60 per cent water, and that’s what unites us,” about this year’s theme “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”.

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