Skip to main content

Generations working together

Family has always come first for Leah.

Growing up Leah spent weekends with her father driving to and from her team sports games. He cheered her on in every last game until the weekend he passed away when she was just twelve years old. Although the loss was heartbreaking, Leah vowed to one day carry on her father’s legacy of showing up for his kids and supporting them in what they want to do.

Leah grew up, got married and had three beautiful children of her own. Their childhoods were spent travelling around the country for their own sporting events - from weightlifting to BMX and football - and they were always encouraged to pursue their dreams. They took that encouragement seriously.

Her kids kept growing: Leah watched on as her youngest daughter Tehlia fearlessly pursued a heavy diesel mechanic apprenticeship. Tehlia was placed at South32’s Boddington Bauxite  Mine, local to the family’s North Dandalup home. Leah was nervous about her youngest daughter working in a typically male-dominated field but changed her tune when she saw the company culture at work.

“Seeing how the team treated her and helped her adjust to the work was just incredible to see and made me feel so much more comfortable,” said Leah.

The rest of the family noticed, too. Not six months later, Leah’s eldest daughter Alicia began work at the same site with the Drill and Blast crew. Leah watched as both of her daughters worked hard, built relationships, and truly enjoyed their work.

Leah was inspired: she submitted her resume to a personnel agency and quickly landed an interview with South32’s Boddington superintendent. She secured a short-term position as an Exploration Driller.

When winter rolled around, Leah was offered permanency alongside her eldest daughter as an Operator in the Drill and Blast team. Her permanent role - and South32’s company-wide commitment to its people - gave Leah the security and independence she had always craved.

“Being on contract, being able to take sick leave - that security is really important to me as a mother, with one child still in school,” said Leah.

From day dot, Leah was warmly welcomed by her counterparts and supervisors. And the best part of her new job was that she got to work with her family. And a crew that was beginning to feel like family.

“I went from working in retail to now basically blowing things up,” Leah laughs.

“I found returning to work hard at the start, but I was supported by my awesome team with incredible work ethic - they’re like another family,” she said.