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Logan MEU @ The Coalface

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

Logan Muller – Operator and MEU Central Councillor

Growing up in Moura, I’ve been surrounded by the mining industry for as long as I can remember. Dad and Pop both worked at Dawson mine and were active Union members, instilling the values of hard work and solidarity in me from an early age.

The industry was very different back then. I don’t think Dad ever expected me to follow him into the mine – I certainly didn’t. But, after moving away from home for a few years I was ready for a change. In 2018, I was lucky to get a new to industry position as an operator at Dawson working alongside Dad. In 2022 I was offered permanent employment with Anglo American and experienced firsthand what a difference job security makes for your confidence and wellbeing at work.

This year I was elected as Queensland’s first female Central Councillor, which is the Union’s main governing body. I am honoured to have been selected for such an important position, and excited for the opportunity to represent a new generation of unionists in decision-making.

My goal is to be a voice for the mineworkers who may not yet feel represented by the Union – young women, new to industry workers, and casual or labour hire workers. Our industry is progressive and inclusive, and it is my vision to show them that the MEU is their Union too!

Jason MEU @ The Coalface

Jason Hill – Industry Safety and Health Representative

I loved the freedom of growing up in Moura, where I was involved in several sports. I got my first job at 14 years old, cleaning up after mineworkers at the Coal and Cattle Hotel.

In the late 80s after leaving school, I entered the industry as a contractor. This was a tragic time for Moura, and the industry as a whole, as disasters at Moura No 4 in 1986 and No 2 in 1994 needlessly claimed dozens of lives, while fatalities and injuries were unacceptably frequent. Witnessing the devastation caused by injury and death on families and communities gave me a passion for workplace health and safety that has defined my career.

Following my passion, I put my hand up and was nominated for a Miners Officer role, also known as a Site Safety and Health Representative. I was successful in my election, holding the position until 2012, during which I completed my certificate as an underground deputy.

In 2012, I was elected as one of the three Industry Safety and Health Representatives for Queensland. Parts of this job have been extremely challenging – I can remember each of the 16 fatalities I’ve attended, each touching me in different ways. But it’s also been so rewarding to improve health and standards at both the mine and industry level, particularly my involvement in the Black Lung reforms.

The best part of my role is inspecting the mines, where I get the opportunity to interact with miners at the face, discuss the different aspects of mining and work together on how we can improve the health and safety of mineworkers.

Stephen MEU @ The Coalface

Stephen Smyth – General Vice President

I started my career in 1988 at Collinsville Open Cut working for the Roche Bros contractor. Back then, I was doing a bit of everything – I was a cleaner, a trade assistant, even briefly on a blast crew.

In 1989 I started underground as a machine man at Collinsville No 2. I felt like I won the lotto; I was working my dream job, loving it, and learning so much from the old-timers. In 1990, I joined Mines Rescue and was fortunate enough to have been on the winning team in my first year.

At Collinsville I got my first experience of dealing with serious hazards. I remember getting called out one Saturday to help with a problem and spending 14 hours trying to control an underground fire. The black smoke pouring up the return certainly kept you on your toes. No one would ever try this today, knowing what we know now about underground fires.

In the mid-90s I gained my deputies certificate and was elected as a miner’s officer (now known as an SSHR). In 1996 I took a job at Southern Colliery as a deputy, competing for their mines rescue team. I was fortunate to captain a Queensland winning team and vice-captain a national winning team.

Southern Colliery was filled with some of the best people you could ever meet. It was here that I really got stuck in as a miner’s officer, dealing with several serious and complex matters on behalf of my workmates. Southern was also my first real experience with a big multinational operator and really solidified to me how important it is to have the Union in your corner.

Around 2000, I was blessed to have been elected as an ISHR – first as a relief miner’s officer and later full time. In 2009, I was elected as President of the Queensland District and served proudly until 2023. Most recently, I have been elected to the position of National Vice President of the MEU. As with the rest of my career, the safety of mineworkers is my absolute priority in this role as I work to bring the national standards up to the high benchmark set here in Queensland.

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