Joel Cucel - Operator, Telfer Gold Mine

Joel Cucel
Operator, Telfer Gold Mine

Joel Cucel

Joel Cucel always wanted to work in the mining industry. He knew it would allow him to live a balanced lifestyle with a considerable income.

But before joining Macmahon, Joel was busy running a 24-hr business with his father. He worked 7 days a week, starting at 4am and finishing at 10pm.

After three years, the family bought a fruit and vegetable growers market with a retail shop. They employed 60 people. Again, Joel worked long hours. He was tired all the time and couldn’t spend much time with his family.

After more than a decade of contemplating a career change, Joel finally decided to throw his hat in the ring and apply for Macmahon's DTO training program. Macmahon's DTO training program gives people the opportunity to enter the mining industry and receive training for their chosen careers. The training program not only provides nationally recognised qualifications but employment at the end.

Joel was lucky enough to be selected for the training program on 15th of November, 2018, and joined the production team on Telfer Gold Mine. Joel helps to ensure the mine runs productively and efficiently.

“I would thoroughly recommend Macmahon's DTO training program to anyone who wants to enter the mining industry,” says Joel. “I gained significant knowledge from highly experienced people.”

Joel learnt a lot in a short space of time. As an Ancillary operator, Joel operates multiple machines. He’s driven Dump trucks, compact rollers – flattening drill patterns and smoothing uneven roads – and operated water carts.

Joel now drives a CAT 854G wheeled dozer, where he builds new intersections, digger floor cleans, push dumps, and cleans up spills.

“Learning to drive different sized trucks has broadened my skills considerably,” says Joel. “My biggest achievement so far is learning new machines such as the wheel dozer.”

The friendly and supportive environment at Telfer makes it an enjoyable place to work. Joel looks forward to his swing because of the camaraderie he feels on site.

“It's a great environment at Telfer. Everyone looks out for each other. We all work as a team to keep production rolling smoothly,” says Joel.

Work-life balance is important to Joel and was one of the reasons he wanted to escape the fruit and vegetable business. He now works a 2:2 roster and finds that he’s able to maintain an ideal work-life balance.

“I spend so much more time with my family compared to when I was running my business,” said Joel. “I pick my children up from school every day when I'm home.”

Joel is grateful for the opportunity to build a career in the mines and live a life he loves.

“I’ve never looked back,” says Joel

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