From Meandu, Queensland.
It took only three months from a 12-month Operator Traineeship at our Meandu project in Queensland for Ian Saltner to be deemed competent to operate three different models of haul truck.
Ian is of the Wakka Wakka people and grew up in Cherbourg, a small community of just 2,000 people in South East Queensland. One of nine children, he enjoyed footy, hunting and camping. Coming from a small community with limited job opportunities, he appreciated the chance to try something different.
“I heard about the traineeship through Employment Services Queensland, and was interested as I wanted to learn new skills and to improve my family’s lifestyle.”
Ian has a wife and four young children, so being able to work an hour away means he can spend more time with his family.
”The job is good, as I get to come home to my kids and wife every day. Getting used to the hours and nightshift has been difficult, but the people have helped me get used to it.”
“By the end of the 12-month program, I will have been trained and authorised to operate haul trucks and water carts. After the traineeship, I’d like to work in mining full time and get training for more machines, maybe even supervise a crew one day. I’d also like to encourage more Aborigines to apply for these kinds of opportunities.”
Ian said his work crew has been supportive and that anyone wanting to take part in a traineeship should be willing to ask questions.
“Anyone interested in the traineeship should not be afraid to have a go, ask questions, and listen to what your workmates tell you as you can learn a lot.”