Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Hope Williams. I am 33 and a mother of 3 and I work for Programmed as an operator and trainer at Bengalla Mining Company outside of Muswellbrook.
When did you start in the mining industry and what was your first job?
In July 2018 when my twin girls were just 1 and my son was 5.
How different is your job now to what you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Very different considering I dreamt of being a fighter pilot in the Australian Navy.
What’s a usual day at work entail?
We start at 7am/7pm to hot seat the last crew and then it’s straight to work. As an operator it’s our job to be as efficient as possible in getting the coal to the bin or the dirt to the dump. It’s not a job to take lightly as we are moving 260 – 340 tonne in each truck.
If I’m training that shift it’s my job to teach the new starters how to operate in a safe and effective manner. The better truckies we have to safer our pit is to work in.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Meeting people from all walks of life. This industry pulls people from all places and stages of life.
The worst thing?
12.5 hour shifts are a long time to be at work and my babies miss me saying goodnight to them.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
I worked this job through the illness and passing of my Mum. My sister and I cared for her for two and a half years. It was the single hardest thing I’ve ever done.
What has been your proudest achievement?
Becoming a trainer. As a floater and someone who works full and crib shifts it was not a job we were usually given.
What’s something about your job that would surprise people to know?
It’s easier to learn how to drive these big trucks then people think.
What’s a funny story about work that you can tell?
It’s pretty standard procedure that if you get bogged you owe a carton. You can say I owe quite a few.
What do you do in your downtime?
We are always doing renos around the house. Other than that nothing beats going to the beach or BBQ’s with friends and family.
The mining industry gets more than its fair share of criticism. What is your view of our industry, and the impact is has?
It provides a huge number of people in our area a great income and the ability to have security for their future. Without the mines a lot of companies and facilities around Muswellbrook, Singleton and beyond would not receive funding to operate. These mining companies donate huge sums of money to worthy causes.