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RTO Advisor, Telfer

Thellie Tatow
RTO Advisor, Telfer

Thellie Tatow is a Karloo woman from Mackay and an RTO Advisor at Telfer mine.

Ten years ago, Thellie was a single mum of three young children in Mackay, Queensland, and thought she was too old to apply for a job. After seeing her younger brother progress as a Dump Truck Operator, Thellie decided to give it a go and send her resume to Macmahon.

In 2012, Thellie was thrilled to hear she was being considered for a role at Macmahon. She was successful and joined the Ore Body 18 team in Newman working a 2:1 roster in 2013.

After a brief break from Macmahon, Thellie was offered another role in 2016. This time at Telfer. This is where Thellie really found her feet!

I can honestly say I love working at Telfer. I have worked with great people and made a lot of friends,” says Thellie. “I still love coming to work.”

Thellie was soon asked to become a line trainer. She completed six months of training in the training department and was asked to stay permanently. Macmahon supported Thellie to complete her Cert IV in Training at TrainWest in the process.

“I have learned how to operate machinery, as well as computer skills and administration. I now train others and help them learn new skills. This is something I never thought possible!” says Thellie.

“I’m very proud of myself and my achievements. Before joining the training department, I knew absolutely nothing about computers. I couldn’t speak in front of a group of people. Now they tell me to be quiet!”

COVID-19 travel restrictions meant Thellie couldn’t fly FIFO, but she was lucky that a colleague at Telfer welcomed her into his family home and Macmahon helped by offering longer rosters and financial assistance towards accommodation so she could continue working at Telfer.

Thellie now enjoys an 8:6 roster and trains Macmahon employees to complete their Cert Ill in Surface Mining, as well as helping pass out operators on trucks and water carts. She’s working to improve her computer skills and undertake a supervisor course to progress at Macmahon.

Thellie has inspired her daughter Tenielle to become a Trainee Dump Truck Operator, and we’re sure Thellie is giving her all the tips and tricks. Their family are all proud as punch of the duo’s achievements.

“To other Indigenous women who are interested in mining, I say give it a go. I’m an Indigenous/South Sea Islander woman, who could not read, spell or do maths – and look at what I’ve achieved!”