My Mining Life – Hamish Wolfgang

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Whether he’s out driving a digger at Bengalla mine or tossing around a footy with his mates, Hamish Wolfgang always puts his best foot forward.

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Hamish Wolfgang and I am “the” operator at Bengalla.

Any nicknames good or bad?
It’s pretty original, Ham.

Where do you live and how long have you been in the Valley?
I live in Muswellbrook and was born and bred here.

When did you start and what’s the ride been like?
I started my mining career at the beginning of 2018 as an Operator and it’s been really enjoyable so far. Everyone I have met is so friendly and it’s a great working environment.

What’s a usual day at work entail?
12.5 hour shifts of Digger to Dump basically. Some people might think that sounds boring, but if you’re well prepared and have a good crew it makes for a good shift.

How big is the crew?
It varies from dayshift to nightshift.

What’s the best thing about your job?
It’s a great work life balance. You pretty much work half the year and it enables me time during the week with the family.

The worst thing?
I didn’t want to sound like everyone else that’s been in the mag, but definitely the 12.5hr nightshifts when you miss out on sport and family occasions. I like to remain fit and enjoy my rugby league, but it’s the sacrifices we make for a great job.

What’s a funny story about work that you can tell?
I got lost for 30mins around the pit by myself when I first started. It’s a big eye opener when you first start.

How different is your job to what you wanted to be when you were a kid?
A lot! I wanted to be a police officer or firefighter back then.

What would your mum say about you when you were a kid?
She would probably say I was a ratbag, but in all honesty, mum has been great for all of us and has always supported us through whatever we did and especially getting us to sporting and recreational events. You wouldn’t get a better mum I reckon. If I wasn’t playing footy, I was playing cricket or at swimming club every weekend. At least a couple times a week was some form of sport, so I was always on the go doing something as a kid.

Two brothers and a sister. Unfortunately for them I got the looks, brains and talent, ha-ha.

What do you do in your downtime?
It’s pretty much Rugby League or some type of physical training, and of course family time.


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