Now that's the shot, Brendan

BRENDAN Ridgley had one explosive ambition.

The 23-year-old took on a traineeship with BMA Goonyella Riverside mine, near Emerald, with the intention of becoming a shot firer.

Brendan, who is based in Moranbah, recently realised his goal when he completed the traineeship and was signed as a shot firer.

His commitment and dedication saw him named Trainee of the Year at the 2009 Mining Industry Skills Centre Training Awards.

The awards recognise outstanding commitment and leadership in workforce planning and development in the Australian resources industry.

Moura-based Patricia Rankin received a Highly Commended Award in Coal Trainee of the Year and Alex King, from training company MRAEL, won the Apprentice of the Year Award.

Brendan said he was proud of his achievement, both in receiving the award and completing his goal.

“Seeing the success of the results that my team has been producing of late and the great comradeship has been the most enjoyable part of my traineeship,” he said.

“The skills of teamwork, leadership and responsibility have all taken time to develop, but it would not have happened without the confidence and self-belief my trainers bestowed in me.”

Brendan said he stood out to the judges because of his commitment to his training plan, his overall working knowledge of the mine and ability to listen to advice and provide leadership.

“I have also gained some great skills in blast design which gives a shot firer the ability to confidently change designs on the bench, when necessary and can provide for a safer or more cost-efficient blast,” he said.

Mining Industry Skills Centre's Team Leader - Instructional Design John Burton said Brendan's explosives handing process had been impressive.



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