After two years working on Australian Mining, I’m about to shrug off the mantle of an industry that has been a huge part of my life since 2006.
From my greenest days working for Iluka Resources, logging sands around the Jacinth deposit and being hazed by drillers, right through to rigging gas pipe at the QCLNG Plant in 2013, I never suspected I would wind up writing for a national, industry-wide audience of mining and resources professionals… at least, not until I saw an ad on Seek asking for exactly the experience I had to offer. I knew the job was mine from the second I saw it, and I snatched that Bechtel job so bloody fast that most of the people around me probably thought I was just another redundancy… That is, until I gave them a parting piece of my mind in my first op-ed for Australian Mining.
It easy to say that this has been one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, working with a great team of journalists across our industrial titles. There have been a few storms to weather, but Australian Mining is a tough old girl: You can’t just kill a 108 year-old magazine, one which has already survived many downturns.
The thing I’ve enjoyed most about this job is the opportunity to be vocal about the issues faced by miners and construction workers on the ground, especially in the FIFO side of things. Coming from a blue collar background, these are the issues most close to my heart, and I hope I’ve added to some very important conversations, most notably the correlation between FIFO work and suicide, and deaths in the workplace.
The most pleasing thing about the Australian mining industry in 2016 is that, touch wood, we’ve seen nowhere near the carnage of previous years. The lessons are being learned, and the post-boom speedbump hit by the industry is flattening out, and with continued diligence this good run will become the new standard for the number of deaths we should expect in the mining industry: Zero.
I’d like to thank a number of our readers for making my job much more interesting, thanks to some very spicy engagement, in particular Merv Sher, Anton, Exploration Geo, Defendor, CrustyFIFO, Speakout, to name just a few of the most vocal participants: Guys like you are the core of our readership, and your passionate care for your own sections of the industry and its ongoing future are what make the culture of this magazine great. Here’s to a speedy turnaround, and best of luck to everyone in the industry, especially those with families who depend upon it.