Batchfire’s Callide Mine a family affair for locals
Many of the hardworking families in Biloela share something special in common – a career in resources!
Coal Planning Specialist at our Callide Mine, Jodie Munroe shares her story growing up in a mining family and progressing through the ranks at Batchfire Resources.
In fact, at one stage her dad, brothers and husband all worked alongside her at the Callide Mine!
“It was probably when I was just starting out, but I do remember a time when we were all there!” Jodie shares.
“Everyone was on different crews and different rosters, but we’d always pass each other at some point. It was always nice being able to see family at work.”
Jodie was exposed to the mining industry from a young age, growing up in Biloela with a father who worked at the Callide Mine.
“My father is still at the mine, and it’s pretty cool that he did his apprentice there when he was 17 and has been there ever since,” she says.
“That’s over 40 years – a really long time!”
It was a family affair for Jodie and her brothers, who all followed in their father’s footsteps in different specialty areas of mining.
“All three of my brothers did their electrical apprenticeships at the mine and even my husband did work there – but has since moved on,” Jodie says.
“I still have two brothers at the mine; one is an electrical tradesman and the other is in the third year of his apprenticeship. My oldest brother did his apprenticeship at Callide but is no longer there, though.”
Jodie’s journey in the resources industry started at the Callide Mine, and she’s still with us today!
“I grew up in Biloela and moved to Brisbane to study when I was 17. I studied science, majoring in geology,” she explains.
“I was back at Biloela during university holidays when I ran into the father of a friend I used to play soccer with. I told him I was studying geology and he mentioned he was a Technical Services Manager at the Callide mine. He then asked if I’d be interested in some vacation work during the summers.
“So I did that for each summer of my degree. On my last round of vacation work they offered me a graduate program which I did for a couple of years!”
After completing her graduate program at the Callide Mine, Jodie travelled for a few years before returning.
“About six years ago I came back after travelling and started with Batchfire!”
Jodie says a big part of the appeal at Batchfire Resources is the lifestyle and closeknit community that comes with living in Biloela – just 20 minutes from site!
“Being able to live locally and have those strong friendship ties, catch up on weekends and do a lot of things together is great. With FIFO, you work together but you might not see each other when you’re not at work,” she says.
“It’s great living locally and working locally too. It allows you to really get involved in the community and it certainly helps that Biloela is a really great town as well. It’s got fantastic schools and you can raise a family there.
“It’s not just a little mining town, it’s has plenty of other industry and it’s a great place to raise your family!”
Batchfire’s lifestyle roster is a favourite amongst staff wanting a family-friendly work arrangement that suits their lifestyle and their family obligations. Jodie explains that Batchfire supports its staff in more ways than one.
“My husband was at Callide for about four years and he was on the flexible lifestyle roster the whole time, which we always found it really worked for us,” she says.
“I’ve only worked five-and-two because I’ve always been in staff roles, but what I can comment on is that in the last three years I’ve had two babies and Batchfire has given me the opportunity to come back on a part-time basis both times.
“Now I work three days a week and I have a bit of flexibility to work around my husband’s roster. It’s family friendly that way as well, because they encourage people to go off and have their families but still have a place to work.”
After spending so much of her working life at Batchfire’s Callide Mine, Jodie’s advice for young people considering a career in resources is to give it a go. She has long been an advocate for the mining industry and this year will even take on a mentor role to support women in resources!
“I started out as a graduate, then I became a geologist and I’ve been in a couple of different roles since then. I’m now working as a coal planning specialist in the mine planning team which is a really exciting role!” she tells us.
“Being in the industry in general, there are so many opportunities for women in resources. This year I’m going to become a mentor for Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ), which will start in June and run for six months.
“With Batchfire’s involvement, I’ve also been to both local high schools and various career days representing the resources industry to speak to students, which has been really fulfilling!”