Marianne Finch may only be a rookie at the controls of Dragline 13 but as Saraji’s first female Dragline Trainee, she has a strong message for her female colleagues in the mining industry: “Don’t take no for an answer”.
Employed within the mining industry for almost 10 years, Marianne commenced her career driving trucks at BMA Peak Downs Mine in 2005.
However it wasn’t long before she began looking for the next challenge and through sheer persistence, quickly found herself behind the wheel of the dozer - a piece of machinery traditionally only operated by males.
After conquering the dozer it was onto the digger, before finally a move to BMA Saraji Mine in 2012 created an opportunity for Marianne to commence a Dragline Traineeship.
Marianne said being a Dragline Operator was the best role on site.
“The role is challenging and pushes you out of your comfort zone every day,” she said.
Marianne believes the key to succeeding in both the role, and the industry as a whole, is through developing trust within your crew.
“When accepting this opportunity I did question whether I had done the right thing.
“However through the support of my team and friendships on site, I was able to push through those thoughts and I’m now confident I’ve made the right decision.
“And I’ve enjoyed the challenge every day since,” she said.
Marianne’s Crew Supervisor, Rob Jacobsen, said Marianne had the right attitude to build a strong career for herself.
“She is a keen learner and not afraid to try anything new,” he said.
Dragline Trainer and Assessor, Lyndon Bayles, echoed Rob’s thoughts.
“With more practical training, it won’t be long until we pass Marianne out as a “smooth operator” here on site - a title every Dragline Operator strives to achieve,” he said.
Marianne has some wise words of advice for women who might be considering pursuing a career as an operator in the mining industry.
“Continue to push the norm and don’t take second prize.
“But above all, be sure you want the role, be sure you will stick at it and when given the opportunity – don’t quit.
“Persist at it and prove to those higher than you why you not only deserve that role, but also any future opportunities that may come along” she said.
On her rostered off days Marianne resides in Emerald with family. She is also a keen Polocross competitor - a sport that sees her travel across the region.