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Then & Now @ The Coalface

Ever wondered how some people started and what led them to where they are now? This month we asked some of the team at Lincom Group to share their journey.

Chad Gagnuss – NSW Branch Manager

The only thing I wanted to be when I was a kid was a mechanic. I loved cars. My brothers were all into cars and building them, so growing up I was always around them.

It was no surprise then that my first job was as an apprentice mechanic. I left school in Year 10 and jumped straight into an apprenticeship. When I finished, I was keen to earn some good money, so I started working in fly in fly out (FIFO). I worked in the mining industry all around Australia, starting as a mechanic to then working on crushers and screens in mines, which my job now also involves.

In 2018, when I proposed to my now wife, I knew I didn’t want to keep doing the FIFO work and that’s how I ended up at Lincom. I was a fitter here for three years and then the opportunity arose for me to take on the position of NSW Branch Manager, which I have had for the last two and a half years.

I love the challenge of the job. I like being active and it’s a fast paced environment where you always need to be on the ball. I also have a great crew that I work with that makes the job even better.

Lincom is an awesome company to work for, they give you a lot of flexibility. If you need to knock off early to go somewhere they’ve always been understanding. They’ve definitely provided the right balance between family and work that I was looking for. Even my wife agrees!

Rebecca Pearson – Storeperson


Growing up I wanted to be a vet, which wasn’t a very realistic career choice as I am allergic to everything!

My first ever job was at Dominos Pizza. From there I went into the hospitality industry for the next fifteen years, working in hotels and restaurants, and I was a restaurant manager for quite a few years.

Then Covid hit. I had just had my second baby and I decided I needed to find a new career that offered a better work life balance. When this position came up at Lincom, I went for it.

It ended up being the best decision I ever made.

I am so grateful Lincom gave me a chance because I had absolutely no experience in this field. I’ve been here for a year and half now and my day to day is mainly spent in the warehouse, working with everything to do with parts. Receiving, dispatching, taking enquiries, sending orders, stocktaking and inventory.

What I love about this role is the diversity. Some days I’m in the warehouse, some days I might be on the road traveling up to Newcastle to grab a part, every day is different.

I’m always learning new skills and the team I work with is very helpful, always willing to teach me anything I want to know, they’ve even taught me how to use hand tools! It’s obviously a very male dominated industry, but the guys have been really supportive and welcomed me into the team.

While my children are still little, I’m very content continuing in my current role as I really enjoy it, but it’s great to know there are plenty of opportunities at Lincom to progress. It’s also great to know that I will be encouraged and supported every step of the way.

Gavin Stroemer – Parts Interpreter 

Then & Now @ The Coalface

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a police officer, but because I am colour blind I was not eligible to join.

My first job was as a parts interpreter in the automotive industry, so technically the same job as I have now, but there’s been plenty of career changes on the road between now and then.

I moved into a sales rep role with the automotive wholesaler I was working for and did that for seven years. I also did a front end specialist trade. I bought my own auto parts store which I ran for a few years before selling it.

The next venture was a landscaping and mowing business. Eventually I decided to give that away because as much as I enjoyed it, it’s a hard industry on your body. Five years ago, I took a job at Lincom as a parts interpreter.

While you could say I’ve gone back to the beginning, the role I have now is hugely different. Working as a parts interpreter in the mining industry is a lot more challenging than in the automotive industry.

When a machine needs a replacement part, it’s my job to identify it, look it up and have it ordered. It’s a whole new world and I’ve found it interesting to learn the ins and outs of the machines we work on. They are nothing like cars or trucks.

You need to know what bits and pieces go where. Because some of the machines we work with are so unique, those bits and pieces might not even have a name! Even after 5 years I’m still learning every day.

These machines make a lot of money when they are working, so it’s my job to get the parts as soon as possible. But even when the pressure is on, there is always a great vibe in the workplace.

I’m really happy to have ended up where I am – after quite a few turns along the way!

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