Nyamal woman Gabby Wilson wins BHP’s Indigenous Trainee, Apprentice or Graduate of the Year

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
Gabby Wilson at BHP’s South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara.
Camera IconGabby Wilson at BHP’s South Flank iron ore mine in the Pilbara. Credit: Supplied/BHP

A proud Nyamal woman has been recognised for her hard work and dedication, taking out one of BHP’s top gongs.

Gabby Wilson, 19, who is the youngest drill operator at BHP’s South Flank facility, was named the winner of the Indigenous Trainee, Apprentice or Graduate of the Year category on October 19.

The awards celebrate the achievements and contributions that Indigenous Australians and champions for change make to BHP and its local communities.

The trainee award recognises a trainee, apprentice or graduate who displays excellent performance at work and in their training, including the willingness to go over and above their normal duties.

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Ms Wilson started work at South Flank a week shy of her 18th birthday, thanks to an eagle-eyed aunty.

“I had spoken to some of my family members who had experienced mining life, and it sounded very appealing to me,” she said.

“My aunty sent me a Facebook ad for a traineeship in the Drill and Blast Team. I had no clue what Drill and Blast really entailed, but I was excited and had a good feeling about it.

“I knew I would be one of the youngest in my team, but soon discovered I was the youngest on site!”

Ms Wilson said support from team members and leaders helped her settle quickly into FIFO life, despite a few speed bumps along the way.

“The hardest part was my own thoughts, to be honest,” she said.

“I worried whether people would think I wasn’t mature enough to handle the lifestyle. In the end, it drove me harder to do my best and to prove my worth at BHP.”

Within a month, she was working on a drill with the support of a trainer rand within three months, she was qualified and confident to operate a drill herself.

The 19-year-old said it was important for new starters to remember everyone has been in their position once, even though it may not feel like it.

“You’ll always have people to support you whether it be family, friends or work colleagues,” she said.

“I would also say don’t be afraid to have goals that might seem out of reach for others. Aim for something that you really want in life, it will help you progress.

“Before mining, I didn’t know where I would end up, but I always dreamt of having my own home. Now I am striving towards making my dreams come true, and all I want to do is to keep achieving my goals.”

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