24yo breaks into 'man’s world’ of crane operations

The 'man’s world’ of crane operations in Lihir now has a female crane operator who has joined the workforce for shut down operations.

Regina Andalu is a contractor with business partner Placements (PNG) Limited. 

Twenty-four-year old Andalu, from Tari, has proven that PNG women are capable of becoming competent crane operators. Andalu’s results from her verification of competencies (VOC) at Lihir was impressive. 

She completed the Dogger (DG), crane non slew (CN) and slewing crane up to 100 ton (C1) VOCs with very high pass rates. Andalu completed these three assessments in four hours. 

According to Newcrest Lihir’s material handing trainers, Glenn Morgan and Max Marinki, experienced operators who have been to Lihir for VOC were only able to complete one assessment in four hours. 

Andalu’s role is responsible for operating a stationary or mobile crane to lift, move, position and reposition loads. Part of her role is also to ensure that loads are safely attached to the crane before bringing them down. All these are done in compliance to safe crane operational procedures. 

Andalu has worked with various companies in the oil and gas industry in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since 2011.

“Lihir gives me my first experience in a world class gold operation and I am loving and enjoying the experience. The teams here have been nice – it’s a great pack of teams to work with,” said Andalu. 

She was inspired by her father, Cletus Andalu, who was a crane operator.

“As a child, I used to tell my father that I wanted to be a crane operator like him. With six children attending school at the same time, my parents couldn’t afford school fees so my father told me to stay home after grade eight so he could afford my brothers’ school fees,” she said.

“It seemed unfair to me and yes I was upset over it but I had to move on at some stage. Cut the story short – I pursued a multi skill training in Port Moresby and later joined Hides as a trainee crane operator. My journey began there and has been exciting since.” 

Andalu has a C1 licence to operate a slewing mobile crane up to 100 tons. She is now determined to get her C0 licence which will allow her to operate a slewing mobile crane over 100 tons. 

“It is rare to find a PNG woman operating cranes but I am certain of one thing – Lihir and PNG women are capable of becoming crane operators. My advice to young aspiring women who want to take up this role is to set their priorities right and believe that they are able to achieve it. I am proud to be Lihir’s first female crane operator,” said Andalu. 

Newcrest Lihir continues to support diversity and inclusion in its operation and value outstanding employees who bring a wealth of experience with them into the operation. 

(Crane operator Regina Andalu operating a 15 ton crane)

Press release