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The Camberwell Way

Camberwell Coal was the first single union coal mine in Australia. Being a Greenfield site it provided opportunities to develop a unique high performance mining culture never seen before.

Using the two factory theory of Frederick Herzberg, Theory Z of Abraham Maslow, the ABC of Management by Elliott Jaques and Socio-Technical Systems of Fred Emery, the work place culture was designed in such a manner that the following motivators were present:

  • Variety and challenge
  • Elbow room for decision making
  • Feedback and learning
  • Mutual respect
  • Meaning
  • Personal growth
  • A Bright and certain future

The conditions of employment provided the following satisfiers:

  • Fair and adequate pay
  • Job security
  • Benefits
  • Safety
  • Health
  • Due process

Many other mines throughout Australia and in particular the Hunter Valley tried to emulate The Camberwell Way but they fell short through the lack of understanding of the above theories.

Reliable research reveals that 90% of all Strategic Plans are never implemented. In practical terms making the transition from what is to what ought to be, is rarely achieved.

Camberwell Coal was the rare exception and the necessary paradigm shift is embodied in the following set of work practices which collectively is known as the Camberwell Way.


  • The safest mine in the Hunter Valley measured by LTIFR
  • The most productive mine in the Hunter Valley measured by Tonnes of clean coal per employee
  • The employer of choice

- Turnover rate of 5%
- Workshop T/O rate of 3% over 18 years
- Over 1600 applications per advertised position

  • The most reliable supplier of coal in the Hunter Valley

        - 2.5 Local industrial days lost in 18 years
        - 2 Misconduct dismissals in 18 years (these two events are related

These measures allowed Camberwell Coal to meet the goals in its Mission Statement by becoming

"A Reliable Supplier of Constant Quality Coal at Internationally Competitive Prices"

What We Do
Consulting Services
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