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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Katie Hulmes

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Cricket lover Katie Hulmes began her career as a field engineer with Golder Associates when she was still a teenager.

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Hulmes has worked for Oz Minerals since 2008, first at Prominent Hill ahead of the relocation of the company’s head office from Melbourne to Adelaide in 2015. During the past decade, the science and engineering graduate from the University of Adelaide has held a number of positions at Oz Minerals including Group Environmental Specialist, Environment and Approvals Manager and Group Manager Technical Services.

Hulmes was last month named a winner in InDaily’s inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards.

This year the 35-year-old became General Manager Transformation to focus on technical and non-technical transformations to help progress OZ Minerals as a modern mining company.

We asked her some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

Business in South Australia is not just about the financial transaction. The collaborations across sectors, governments and business creates a willingness to assist each other to succeed.

The ability to positively influence a community, to drive real and meaningful change and to develop networks and relationships deeper than normally experienced in business is unique to South Australia. There is a sense of belonging to something greater.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

Being a smaller business community, the speed to achieve things is sometimes a measure of the personal capacity of people involved. Finding a way to operate quicker, smarter and leaner is key in a smaller density economy.

Access to business forums and networks that challenge the way you think, access to investors that understand your projects and access to emerging talent all require a new way of thinking and working if we are to remain competitive.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

Absolutely. I have always worked and lived in South Australia. Through both my professional career and my volunteer work I have always thrived on global experience for local impact.

I want to continue to drive change, collaboration and innovation in South Australia’s business community whilst also giving back to the communities and maintaining a key focus on education and opportunities for young people.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

The digital transformation that is being experienced by industry, coupled with the increasing flexible working environment for employees should be fostered in South Australia as a competitive edge.

Often South Australians don’t want to leave but they want the experience of the bigger companies. If these companies were supported to set up digital offices through collaboration hubs, innovation precincts and access to technology, then people could work anywhere. This would result in a local skilled workforce, cheaper bottom lines for business and increased collaboration, which is key for incubators and start-ups to develop.

Young leaders want to feel like they are doing something new and exciting but also getting the experience that will set them up for the future. It’s about bringing the old way of gaining experience together with technology.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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