Young fireworks pro delights in her job

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
Email Taylar Amonini

We all saw the Australia Day fireworks last week and look forward to them every year, but no one asks who the teenage girl lighting the explosives is.

Nineteen-year-old Hannah Mills is the youngest licensed pyrotechnician in Western Australia and the mastermind behind some of the North West’s favourite firework displays.

After a five-year apprenticeship with her uncle Ken Boyland, she gained her licence from the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum and began her dream career with West Coast Fireworks.

“I love the adrenaline rush of a fireworks show,” she said.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

“It’s one of those things, once it’s in your blood, you can’t get it out.

“At the end of the day when I begin a show, I forget the entire world and become completely absorbed in everything that’s going on around me; it’s a great feeling.”

The job is not all fun and games though, according to Ms Mills, as she must be vigilant and always aware of her surroundings because of the unpredictability of explosives. “It’s not a job for the faint-hearted,” she said.

Ms Mills and her team had one of the best safety records of firework companies in WA, being the only large WA company to not have had a reportable incident.

This year, West Coast Fireworks took on four Australia Day jobs in Kalbarri, Geraldton, Carnarvon and Hedland, and according to Ms Mills, they were all different.

“It’s a creative job, no two shows are ever the same,” she said.

“There’s always something new to see and do.”

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