My Mining Life – Ben Dawson

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Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Ben Dawson and I am a mine technician and trainer and assessor at Dawson Mine in Moura.

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

I started in the mining industry in 2006 as a drillers offsider in exploration and coal seam drilling.

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

My job now is in a completely different industry. My aspiration when I was a kid was to have a career in the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

What does a usual day at work entail?

A usual day onsite involves prestarts, sometimes training new to industry employees, hot-seating assorted machines, moving lighting plants, and generally trying to keep the boss happy!

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is the career progression and the mentorship that I have been given from my supervisors and the people that have trained me.

The worst thing?

The dreaded night shift!

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

Mental health issues, but with the support of all my family I am able to manage difficult situations.

What has been your proudest achievement?

My 3 beautiful children and partner of 18 years. Also seeing trainees I have taught progressing in their mining careers.

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

The amount of time we spend at work verse how much time we get off.

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

My phone fell out of my crib bag into the engine bay of a 797 haul truck and a fitter found it a week later. And it wasn’t even broken!

What do you do in your down time?

Spending time with my daughters taking them to all their horse riding events. Also taking my son camping and fishing and motor bike riding.

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

My view about the coal industry is it provides a positive way of moving forward for Australia with equal opportunity for women, and opportunities for trainees and apprentices. Mining companies help small towns to develop infrastructure and jobs and helps to improve the economy of all Australia.

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