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MY MINING LIFE: Luke Forward

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Who are you and what do you do?

Hi! I’m Luke Forward, and I’m Haulage supervisor at BHP Mt Arthur Coal.

When did you start in the mining industry and what was your first job?

I started by doing an Operator traineeship at HVO in 2010.

How different is your job now to what you wanted to be when you were a kid?

A lot different – I loved music from a young age and really wanted to do anything involving the music industry but once I started in mining I really enjoyed how everything works and how every department fits the puzzle in the running of a mine.

What’s a usual day at work entail?

As a Haulage Supervisor my day will start with checking on my Dispatch team ensuring they are enabled to be able to achieve record production, then it’s prestart, pit inspections and looking for options to maximise haulage and ensure everything is running efficiently.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I really enjoy the challenge but mostly how complex the role is, you really need to know about every department and be talking to a lot of different people to make sure you have an in depth knowledge of what challenges might come up that can affect the plan.

The worst thing?

There isn’t a lot of stuff I can complain about (boring I know).

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?

My boss would agree here, it would have to be my professionalism. It’s something I have worked really hard on from coaching, to 1 on 1’s and a few great books.

What has been your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement when it comes to work is getting to work on a few projects to optimise trucking strategy to lower cost and my proudest moment outside of work is studying Engineering.

What’s something about your job that would surprise people to know?

How much a good dispatch team can optimise production and lower cost is one, but I would also say it’s completely unachievable without an A1 production supervisor team and industry leading operators working together. Now that can achieve amazing results.

What’s a funny story about work that you can tell?

I would say, saving a Mt Arthur goat and getting a selfie with it.

What do you do in your downtime?

I study, play guitar, go on hikes and I love the beach.

The mining industry gets more than its fair share of criticism. What is your view of our industry and the impact is has?

My view will always come across bias due to the industry I’m in, but I will always be pro coal.

It’s easy to explain all the negatives about an industry from people who are not in it, but you just need to look around and see all the cars and phones and buildings all made because of coal.

It might come across shallow but if the emissions were the biggest issue to plague the world, our Power Station’s would be forced to have carbon capture. I think there’s still plenty of life in coal and plenty of ways to approach coal that can please both sides.

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