Melinda Clarke’s success in the WA mining and resources sector is testament to her perseverance and resilience. Having left school in NSW in Year 12, she initially sold popcorn at a stall to make ends meet and even after moving to the Pilbara and starting an apprenticeship she endured tough times, sleeping in her car or couch surfing. But a post-apprenticeship role at the Karratha Gas Plant presented an opportunity that she has embraced and run with.
Melinda met her future wife in Karratha and established a career as a mechanical fitter, before tackling a new challenge working in an office as a maintenance planner while undergoing IVF to conceive the couple’s second child.
A business improvement role after parental leave morphed into a brand-new position as a Campaign Maintenance Team Leader and, for the past two years, Melinda has been an integral part of Woodside Energy’s Accelerator innovation incubator – a job which in part involves teaching a computer to “think like a human.” Throughout it all, Melinda has been a champion for female operational opportunities and LGBTIQA+ inclusion at Woodside, helping mentor apprentices while also being an active contributor to the Karratha sporting community before moving to Perth in 2022.