Connecting with family has changed from sharing Sunday roasts to two-way radio communications for haul truck operator Jess Thompson and dozer operator Dan Thompson.
The father-daughter are now bonding in the pits of our Pilbara operation, where they both work as operators.
Each morning, Jess picks up Dan to chat over breakfast and share a few tips before heading onsite together. It’s a routine that new to industry Jess admits has made her role on site easier.
Jess entered the mining industry as a trainee in late 2019. Her career path was inspired by Dan’s stories about new opportunities and working with massive machinery.
Dan began his career not long before Jess. Dan had previously put his long-term aspirations of a career in mining on hold to watch Jess and her sister grow up.
When Jess left high school, Dan took an opportunity with Thiess.
Now in his third year, Dan has the joy of working alongside his daughter.
“I was absolutely wrapped when I found out that she had been offered a position at the same site, it’s been really nice having her here,” Dan said.
“One day a familiar voice responded to my call out on the radio, I realised it was Jess and it was a surreal moment, it was the first time we crossed paths at work.”
And with Jess working on site, Thiess’ health and safety vision ‘everyone safe, everyday’ has taken on a new meaning for Dan.
“As a Dad it’s great because I know where she is all the time - I know she’s being looked after and she’s safe,” said Dan.
Jess said she was grateful to have her Dad double as a support person and unofficial offsite tutor as she entered the industry.
“We know we’ve always got each other’s back and before or after a shift I can talk to Dad about my day and get some pointers from him,” Jess said.
“It was really good when I was learning in the New to Industry program, because I could ask Dad what different things meant or why we need to do certain things.”
Project Manager Martin Haugg said that the hardworking father-daughter team contribute greatly to the site.
“Mining is a career that’s almost passed down through families and seeing the next generation of mining come through is something I totally embrace and support,” Martin said.
“Jess and Dan uphold and drive the Thiess values and culture of the project. The way they engage with each other and the whole crew is inspiring.
“Having biological family members here can be so positive for everyone, it helps us to feel more connected which drives our overall team culture.
“Onsite, we’re all part of a team, but we’re also part of the Thiess family, we all support each other.”