Introducing Julie Shuttleworth
39-year-old Julie Shuttleworth is the General Manager of Barrick Gold’s Granny Smith mine.
Originally from Pemberton, Julie has been living the FIFO lifestyle for the past 18 years – including stints working 60 days on, 20 days off in China, and nine weeks on, four weeks off in Tanzania – and says working FIFO is a personal choice that has catered extremely well to her lifestyle.
“I love working FIFO, with my days off I have a great work/life balance,” says the Murdoch University metallurgy graduate.
“Working FIFO has given me the opportunity to travel and I have been lucky enough to have visited more than 80 countries and also had the time to take up hobbies like scuba diving, hiking and canyoning. I have a great career and a lot of fun at the same time.
“I’m also able to regularly head down south to visit my family; the four hour drive simply wouldn’t be practical with a two day weekend.”
Julie says she is disappointed with the media’s portrayal of FIFO workers, who have been depicted as burly beer drinkers.
“It’s simply not like that,” she said. “The stringent safety rules on mine sites don’t allow this kind of behaviour and the isolated actions of a few have been blown out of proportion.
“The feedback I’ve had from the Granny Smith team is that everyone enjoys the FIFO lifestyle and looks forward to their six days off and their quality family time. It can sometimes be tough but it’s a matter of looking at your individual situation before deciding if FIFO is for you.”
Julie’s partner Brett also works in the mining industry, and although he was previously on a FIFO roster, he is now based in Perth.
“FIFO worked for us as we would coordinate our time off,” she said. “Claims that FIFO is ruining WA families are misguided, many people have relationship problems regardless of their work schedules and they may be forgetting to look at other areas of the relationship.”
Women in Mining WA (WIMWA) was founded in 2003 to support women working in the largely male-dominated mining and resources sector.
The other side of FIFO is the organisation’s current awareness campaign which aims to foster a more balanced view of the industry’s Fly in Fly out lifestyle by giving voice to the individuals, both males and females, working in the sector.