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Emma has her dad to thank for choosing a trade

Emma Gardiner is a heavy diesel fitter, deployed with our Operations Services team at Caval Ridge Mine in Central Queensland. Emma thanks her dad for her trade qualifications as if it wasn’t for his advice she wouldn’t be experiencing the ‘on the job pride and sense of accomplishment she now feels. 

At the end of high school in 2011, Emma was contemplating hairdressing until she had a ‘heart to heart’ chat with her dad, a spray painter, who encouraged her to consider taking up a trade in the mining industry.

“Honestly, I wasn’t interested, but I still took on dad’s advice and then I just fell in love with it! The great thing is that I learn something new every day and I couldn’t be more grateful that dad encouraged me.”

According to Emma, many women are worried they don’t know much about tools and machinery and it puts them off considering a trade.

“When I first started I was completely green and had no idea about the basics.”

Emma shared that it’s normal to feel unsure and nervous, however, “you quickly learn that you know more than you think!”

“When you start to understand how bits of a machine fit together… you pull something apart, you fix it all back and then to watch it move … it gives you a great sense of accomplishment”.

She’s now encouraging those wanting to try something different to not over think it and have a go, knowing that there’s going to be tough days, but there’s many people around to support you.

Emma is keen to share her trade learnings with those new to the tools like Sika Jones, (pictured – left) a third year apprentice.

“I took a leap of faith and five years later I’m doing something I love and earning a stable income. For sure there were days I wanted to quit; but I also found support all around me, encouraging me to keep going.”

BHP is proud to partner with SALT - Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen - as a major sponsor of the upcoming SALT Women in Trades Australia Conference in Sydney on 18 and 19 October 2019.

BHP Operations Services is hiring and offering permanent secure operator and maintainer roles across Australia. Find out more at