From a young age, Michael Riedel knew he wanted to be a mechanic, but he never realised the trade would take him from the rail industry to the Navy, and then into a role in the mining industry that would set him up for a future where the perfect work-life balance was a reality.
Michael started his school-based apprenticeship as a diesel mechanic in 1999 in the rail industry.
He said he overhauled locomotives while completing his high school studies, and new it was the perfect fit.
By the time he graduated he moved to a small country workshop outside of Ipswich where he spent his days primarily working on highway and agriculture equipment.
"Following my apprenticeship, I went back to the rail industry for some time before joining the Royal Australian Navy as a Marine Technician specialising in Diesel Propulsion Systems," Michael said.
Honing his skills and gaining invaluable experience, Michael said he wanted to learn more, and "didn't want to get to the end of my career and think about the possible opportunities I could have had".
He applied for a position with BHP Operations Services in the Mobile Maintenance team, and was successful.
Now, Michael works as a Mobile Maintenance Technician in the Operations Services team at BMA's Blackwater Mine.
"I had applied for a position with BHP OS looking to continue to build on my current skills and knowledge," he said.
With family at the forefront of his mind, he also wanted location stability and a better work-life balance.
"When I received my offer of employment from the BHP OS team it was too good to refuse," he said.
"Since coming onboard with OS in February, I feel like I have been lucky enough to join such a welcoming and knowledgeable team."