My Mining Life – Tayah Womal

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Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Tayah Womal and I work in administration at Broadmeadow Mine.

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

I first started working at Broadmeadows Mine, one day a week as a school-based trainee and then got bought on as a permanent full time Admin after I finished school in 2022.

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

Considering I wanted to be a flight attendant when I was younger, being able to go underground and learn about mining history is a big difference.

What does a typical workday involve?

Daily I do payroll, book flights and accommodation, run lots of reports, facilitate, scribe and organise meetings. I am starting to take on organising all the light vehicles on site as well and am working towards being signed off as a pink hat for underground. A pink hat is one of the first steps in the underground induction process. Once I get a pink hat I don’t have to go underground as a “visitor” anymore or continuously sign paperwork to go underground.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is being able to experience life as an underground miner whilst working on the surface as well. I have also been fortunate to have different and various opportunities arise that keep me busy!

What’s the worst thing?

Argh just being dirty all the time! I am always covered in coal, and it gets in my hair.

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

Working on and completing a Certificate III in Business and completing Grade 12 at the same time was definitely a challenging moment.

What has been your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is being announced as a regional finalist for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year category at the 2023 Central Queensland Training Awards. Now I am onto the next stage in Brisbane to hopefully be named the state winner.

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

As an admin people think that you just work in an office all day long and take phone calls but at Broadmeadows Mine they encourage you to go do field leaderships on site and are eager for you to go underground for the experience. There are also opportunities to gain more skills in their apprenticeship program.

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

My first time working underground I was helping with compliance checks. I was trying really hard to stay clean and not get any coal on me but ended up sliding right down into a mud pit!

What do you do in your downtime?

In my downtime I am currently studying a Cert IV in Business and trying to smash out my modules for that.

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

In my opinion the mining industry presents excellent job prospects, offering numerous opportunities for all individuals and providing ample support. I have been warmly embraced and feel that the possibilities for my career progression are limitless.

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