Tehlia’s upbringing was, by all accounts, pretty ‘normal’.
Mum, Dad, Sister, Brother. Cosy family home on the outskirts of WA’s South West. Supportive parents and team sports always kept Tehlia ‘on track’. The message from her parents was clear: stay safe, stay active and healthy - and follow your dreams.
Beyond pursuing sport, Tehlia’s dream was to work as an engineer. She was good with her hands and had an analytical mind. While she did well at school, it never really ‘clicked’ for her. And the thought of sitting in a university lecture hall for another four years didn’t exactly sound appealing.
When Year 10 rolled around, Tehlia decided to get out of the classroom and into the workshop. With engineering still in mind, she enrolled in an automotive course - and instantly fell in love with how it tested her mind and her motor skills.
When an opportunity to work at South32’s Boddington Bauxite Minne came up, she accepted immediately. She didn’t know much about South32, or working ‘on the mines’ at all, but the roster appealed to her.
South32 felt like home right away to Tehlia. She hit it off with her team and loved the work. Soon after starting, Tehlia was encouraged by South32 to speak at her previous high school, Pinjarra Senior High School, toover a thousand students about her journey.
“I’d never had the opportunity to do something like that before. They gave me the confidence to do something new. In my job, they want me to do better, aim higher,” said Tehlia.
But it’s not just about career development. When Tehlia was worried she wouldn’t have time to join her local football club, her work crew encouraged her to go for it,allowingher the flexibility she needed to play.
“I feel so supported by South32. They are so caring but are always pushing me to work hard,” said Tehlia.