RIO Tinto Weipa’s longest-serving employees have been celebrated by the mining company.
Those who had achieved milestones in the past 12 months were acknowledged at Rio’s annual “pin night”, formally called the service awards.
Cliff Lamotte was announced as the Weipa site’s longest-serving employee after he reached his 45-year milestone.
He was among 80 staff members recognised for their contributions, with 14 having more than 30 years of service.
After recently notching 40 years with the bauxite miner, Ian Russ was one of them.
He was able to reflect on his remarkable career, having witnessed a transformation from traditional labour to cutting-edge automation.
From humble beginnings as a plant operator to his current role as an electrical maintainer in the powerhouse, Mr Russ has seen the industry evolve in ways he could never have imagined.
He fondly recalled his early days at the beneficiation plant, where a pair of shorts and a T-shirt were standard workplace attire.
As the years passed, the evolution of the workplace uniform mirrored the advancements that have shaped the industry over time.
“The biggest change I’ve seen over the years is the automation of a lot of jobs which has changed the way tasks are performed,” he said.
Despite these advancements, one thing that has remained constant and continues to drive Mr Russ’ passion for work is the people he works with.
Over the years, he has developed strong bonds with his team, which has kept him motivated throughout his journey.
As Mr Russ looks back on his long and fulfilling career, he acknowledges that it is not just the evolution of technology that made his time at Rio Tinto rewarding.
It was also the sense of belonging and the genuine connections he formed with his colleagues that made every day enjoyable.
Hubert Marcello Fabila
Michael Van Uden