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Lauren gives hairdressing the chop for the mines

Lauren Rimmington hairdressing mines
Bundaberg's Lauren Rimmington needed a change in pace and dropped the scissors at the family-based hairdressing business Signature Hair to pursue a career in mining as an auto electrician.

Signature Hair’s Lauren Rimmington has given hairdressing the chop to become an auto electrician in the mines at Moranbah.

After a decade in hairdressing Lauren decided she needed a new, more exhilarating career and that’s when an auto electrical apprentices’ advertisement caught her eye.

The 28-year-old said she took a chance and threw herself in the deep end – being one of 4000 people to apply for the BHP BMA apprenticeship, and one of 57 to make through to the mining site earlier this year.

Replacing her hair-cutting scissors and blow dryer with electrical wiring and computers, Lauren now spend her days in open cut mines at Peak Downs, knee-deep repairing dozers, scrapers and trucks.

“I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy and I enjoy getting dirty,” Lauren said.

“I found hairdressing wasn’t challenging me and I wasn’t passionate any more.”

A tough decision to leave family business

After building Signature Hair with her mum, Helen Rimmington, Lauren said leaving the family-based business was one of the toughest decisions she has had to make.

“We built Signature Hair together,” Lauren said.

“Mum knew I had to get out and spread my wings and she supported me.

“I was sad telling my (hairdressing) clients, and there were a lot of tears, but as a family-based business the transition was a little easier on them.”

Lauren Rimmington hairdressing mines
Now and then: Lauren Rimmington is undergoing an auto electrician apprenticeship in the mines, after leaving her 10 year hairdressing career in Bundaberg.

Born and bred in Bundaberg Lauren said it was hard to fathom the idea of living anywhere else, but she and her partner, Bradley Dunne, fit in to the small country town in Western Queensland like ducks to water.

“Out here even the smallest job turns in to something monstrous, nothing is easy,” Lauren said.

“Everything is so much bigger, more dangerous, and mentally draining, so it’s all very different to the carefree environment of hairdressing.”

As an outgoing hairdresser who was always up for a chat, Lauren said she was able to take her people skills with her to the mines, which had its benefits.

“There are thousands of people on the site, and if you don’t talk you get left to the side,” she said.

“You have to be outgoing and make yourself known, you definitely can’t be shy out here!”

Lauren said even though her work history surprised her new colleagues, they were grateful to have a hair dresser on site.

“Some go ‘wow, how the hell do you go from hairdressing to this’?,” she said.

“A lot think it’s strange and wonder if I’ve had a mental break down.

“But they all love that I can do hair!”

  • Other news: Assistance for small businesses who retain apprentices

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