- OCTOBER 14, 2014 2:51PM
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IT’S not a word we would have been throwing around ten years ago, but nowadays FIFO workers are the envy of many with their fat salaries and extended days off.
But with reports of growing numbers of suicides in the industry and endless speculation of boom turning to bust, what’s the temperature like inside the mining industry at present?
Flying Miners tells the real-life stories of those on the front line of Australia’s mining boom. Here’s what life is like inside the modern-day gold rush.
Shana Mooyman has been in the industry for six years after starting at 19. Source: Supplied
IT takes a strong personality to rock up to male-dominated mining site at 19 and start driving heavy machinery — but Shana Mooyman has one very firm head on her shoulders.
The 25 year old, who has a background in modelling and promotions work, has been working in the industry for six years after joining “pretty much straight out of high school”. She’s used her time to secure three investment properties and set herself up financially and is now working on a plan B.
“When I first started I was quite young. I was paying off my loans and there was all this excitement. It was a good couple of years and I loved it. Having a whole week off at a time was great, you can do a lot in that time. I wouldn’t be able to go back to a Monday to Friday job, I know that,” she told news.com.au.
She works as an “all-rounder” on an iron ore mine driving loaders, graders, excavators, and any machine except for a ‘dozer’ — a job she scored through a friend in the industry after wanting to get out of her hometown of Bunbury.
The former model now works as an all-rounder on an iron ore mine and said life in the male dominated industry is great, but you have to be the kind of person that can handle it. Source: Supplied
“They were willing to give me a shot and away I went. Being that young I was thinking of the money and I would save so much. I was single back then I didn’t have any commitments back at home. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do — the timing was everything.”
While working in a male-dominated environment is a shock to some, Shana said you need to be the type of person that can handle it.
“When I first started people would all the time be asking, ‘why are you up here?’” she said. Now a few years older, she has a partner who works in the construction side of the industry and has scaled back the after-work socialising.
And on the job. Source: Supplied
As a model in a former life. Source: Supplied
“I don’t ever go down to the wet mess [an onsite pub] I used to be a lot more sociable and drink with my crew but I don’t do that anymore. I more just talk about my partner all the time. It throws it in everyone’s faces. Now they just treat me like one of the guys. Once you’ve been doing it for a while you can have fun with the guys. If you don’t act like a princess they’ll treat you better.”
Her mum, brother and partner also work in mining but most of her friends have nine to five jobs, meaning she misses out on a lot back in Perth.
“You do give up quite a lot. Working away isn’t for everyone. It’s hard on you mentally, you’re very isolated. [Sometimes] I just want to see someone or see a familiar face and the best you can do is call them or Skype them. You either can do it or you can’t, it’s definitely not for everyone.
Shana’s mum and brother are also in the industry, which she has used to set herself up financially with three investment properties. Source: Supplied
“You’re in a bathroom sized room with a single bed. There’s no fancy meals. You can’t just go off somewhere, there’s nowhere else to go. It’s very isolating and can be a very lonely life if you’re not careful. You’ve got to keep your communications up. I Skype or give my partner a call every night. I can’t miss that.”
Having sent herself up financially she’s now planning an exit strategy for the next couple of years.
“We wanted to get the ball rolling to make it so one day we can both be at home. There’s so many couples where the husband is away and I already know that’s not the life I want. We’ve started investing. We’ve at least got something to show for our lifestyle. We’re both at the age where we want to come home. I definitely don’t want to be here in another five years. I want to be having kids. For me there’s maybe another year, maybe two. It’s definitely not a long-term thing.”
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
discover some of your own numerology for free at:
learn numerology from numerologist to the world, Ed Peterson: