Meet Taylah

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I don’t know really where to start, so I’m sorry if I ramble on. I started mining not so long ago, just about two years ago after not feeling challenged in my role on the Genius Bar at Apple. I was lucky enough to know someone who worked in the industry who pushed me in the right direction and helped me get my first job. At the time the guy I was dating worked in mining as well so we promptly decided that we would move in together in Clermont and I started working as a truck operator at Blair athol coal. Two and a half months in COVID hit and the price of coal dropped meaning I lost my job. Luckily the contracting company I work for were incredible and somehow managed to get my green bum a job at peak downs as a truck driver. After nearly a year I began bugging the maintenance superintendent to give me a go as a trade assistant. This was a big challenge for me as a lot of people doubted my abilities - possibly because I’m a petite blonde who doesn’t look like I like to get dirty (haha). My crew and supervisors I worked with were incredible and believed in me every step of the way. I did experience a great deal of sexism and crude comments being a woman working in maintenance which I tried to laugh off, for the most part I was okay but sometimes I would go back to camp feeling deflated that people didn’t think I was good enough. In my time as a trades assistant I have learnt so much which was incredible - I never thought I would have half of those skills. Most recently I have decided to go back to driving trucks for a bit of a sea change and hopefully make some new friends and have a good time.

MINESET really peaked my interest because when I was living in Clermont I was completely isolated from my family and realised I made the wrong decision. My partner was not who he was at all when I would see him on his week off, and being a bubbly social person I began feeling really depressed from being far away from my friends and family. Not to mention I was having a really hard time with my crew not being very accepting of a β€œcity girl”. I struggle with chronic anxiety and OCD which at this time was pretty prolific. Anyway, starting at peak downs and just joining the MINESET Facebook page made me feel better. My crew at peak downs was incredible and everyone was super supportive of me. I was so lucky my supervisor was so understanding of my anxiety and OCD as well. More recently my current partner and I have had a few challenges in our life and I was prescribed medication for my OCD, which I had a terrible reaction to so I’ve stopped taking it. I’m trying to move my body more and just be more positive in general. There’s so much more than just this but I don’t want to bore anyone - but all of this and more contributes to my story.

Like I said in my Instagram message I’m currently studying business and marketing at uni and would love to help as much as I can. I do live on the sunny coast but was thinking I could even just reach out to people in the hope of getting more sponsors for MINESET. I think it is such a great thing your doing and having been in a dark place a few times and being alone at camp I just think this community can do so much to help others in need.

Thank you so much @Taylah Smith for sharing your personal experience and story with us.
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