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Kat Norman

from Journalism to Geologist and Survey Team Leader
Management of land and facility surveys for our business, gathering spatial/location data to inform business planning, operations and decommissioning.
Energy, gas and oil
Shell's QGC Business
Job Level
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Ask me about

  • How my challenged background motivated me to study
  • How I found my love for geology
  • Completing the QGC Graduate program
  • Moving into the technical department of Surveys

About me

  • Regional Background

Looking back, the resources industry has always been a part of my life. I grew up in the Hunter Valley, the second youngest of 8 kids, and my dad worked in the local coal mine. When I was 10, my family moved to Gin Gin in Queensland and lived an off-the-grid lifestyle. 

When the time came to apply for university – I had no real idea what I wanted to do, just that it was important for me to continue my education. After six months studying a degree in journalism, I made a complete right-turn and transferred to a Bachelor of Science, and after a year, decided to specialise in Geology – I had found my niche! 

Following university, I joined QGC as a geologist and completed their graduate program. I then worked as a geologist with QGC for the next 6 years until I applied for a role in the company completely outside my comfort zone. I led our community engagement team for 18 months and learned a lot about our business and myself. I recently moved back into our technical department, leading our Survey Operations Team.

About my role

  • Curious
  • Flexible
  • Independent
  • Optimistic
  • Resourceful

This role works with a team of surveyors and geospatial specialists to plan, execute and evaluate onshore (and less frequently offshore) surveys, in support of Shell’s QGC business.

Geologists and Survey Team Leaders work with different groups within the business to make sure that spatial information is gathered for teams, to the quality they require, with a focus on delivering this safely. Teams capture data on surveys prior to constructing well-sites, pipelines, and facilities. The Operations Survey Team Lead then defines property and lease boundaries and carries out environmental and cultural heritage surveys to ensure that commitments are complied with.

Students Book Here Educators Book Here


  • Bachelor of Science (Geology)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science Hons (Sedimentology)


  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Legal Studies
  • Mathematical Methods (Maths B)


  • Young Australian of the Year for our tiny town of Gin Gin
  • PESA Postgraduate Scholarship to fund my honours degree in Sedimentology


  • Gardening
  • Hiking
  • Pilates
  • Reading
  • Travel

15 year old me!!

“No decision or outcome is completely permanent, if things don’t work out exactly as you expect or you don’t like the outcome, you don’t have to stick with it. ”

My career journey

Curious to know how I got here? Here’s a snapshot of my career pathway.
  1. Experienced loss at early age (Dad passed away when I was 16, and Mum when 21)
  2. Decision to transfer from Journalism to Science degree
  3. Part-time geology job in final year of university
  4. Accepted into QGC Graduate Program
  5. Broadening role in Social Performance

My employer

Shell has operated in Australia since 1901. From operating Australia’s first oil refinery, which was central to meeting Australia’s fuel needs, to fuelling the first Qantas commercial flight in the 1920s, to playing a foundation role in building some of Australia’s largest and most innovative natural resource developments. Throughout this 122-year relationship the needs of their customers and the nation have changed and they have continued transforming their portfolio to meet these needs. Today, they are a leading natural gas producer and are playing their part in the transition to a low-carbon future by investing in the power sector, renewable energy sources and carbon abatement activities.