Man standing in front of truck

From the Paralympics to the coal pit

Logan Powell has been an amputee from 18 months of age needing a new prosthetic lower right leg every six months.

But this only motivated him to achieve more.

Growing up in Mackay, Queensland, he was a competitive swimmer from a young age, and was able to hone his skills at the local pool.

From here, the next step up was on to the jumping blocks at the Paralympics where he represented Australia at the 2016 games in Rio Brazil.  

Logan then went on to win a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast for 100m backstroke.

Always the achiever, Logan set his sights on the next challenge after he graduated high school.

He heard there was an opportunity at BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's Daunia Mine for operators. 

“After school I was looking to achieve and try something else so started an operations traineeship with BMA’s Daunia Mine and loved it from the get go,” Logan said.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) assisted Logan by providing him with an Ottobock X3 prosthetic knee and leg. 

“The best money can buy and the quality of life it has given me has been great,” Logan said.

Logan said the prosthetic knee and leg has aided him in his new role at Daunia Mine, where he operates the Caterpillar 797 truck alongside his team of 30 members.

“The team environment look after everyone, all the members are welcoming and the atmosphere is really great.  Although I’m an amputee I feel very fortunate and have been treated like everyone else since I started,” Logan said. 

Logan said his supervisors Michael Bock and Bonnie Brooks have created a great learning and work environment and the whole team feels they’re working with them not for them. 

A testament to this culture, Logan said he’s never felt under pressure being in a big work environment and feels it’s a “safety first“ atmosphere at all times.

And his team couldn’t be prouder to have him on the crew.

“Logan is a very popular member of the A crew production overburden team,” Crew Supervisor Michael said.

This strong team work ethic and culture has continued to thrive throughout a challenging time over the last year.

During the onset of COVID-19 Logan said his working environment hasn’t been too affected, except for the introduction of new, and necessary, safety controls. 

“Things are the same but we are all subconsciously aware of it and the risks,” Logan said about the pandemic.

Next for Logan is more upskilling.

He said he’d love to build his skills in auto-spark electronics or learning how to operate a Crane Shovel.

“This job has been a dream, and I look forward to many more years with BHP.”

BHP CEO Mike Henry has today announced BHP’s commitment to training and funding for 3,500 new Australian apprenticeship and training positions, and driving up to $450 million into supporting business opportunities in Australia’s mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) sector.