On the Other Side of the Mill – Work Experience at Tarpeena

Work Experience student sees how the mill works behind the scenes

Madelyn is not your typical year 12 student, she is one of the lucky ones that knows exactly what she wants to do. Madeyln loves numbers, organisation and admin, giving her a unique advantage on other students her age. “I like maths and accounting; I’ve wanted to be an accountant since year 4!”.

Luckily for Madelyn working at Timberlink is so much more than just a career in timber. You can find jobs in almost any profession from sales and IT, to accounting, admin, marketing, logistics and of course saw line doctors. Madelyn’s teachers knew that she was interested in accounting and when they received an email from Timberlink letting the school know they could take in work experience students; they knew she would be perfect for the job. Living in Mt Gambier, Madelyn knew the mill was in Tarpeenabut did not know much more than that, she was quickly amazed at what lay inside the mill. “It’s all so automated, I was amazed at how high tech it all is”. “I’ve had heaps of fun” said Madelyn, “I’ve learned a lot of new things which is great”.

She started the week right at the top, working with Facility Manager Roy Dias and was given a tour by Production Manager Brian Murphy. Following this Bec showed her the office and some admin duties. Moving onto Work Cover admin she then sat in on a safety meeting. “It was great to see how much time and effort is spent on safety”. Not used to wearing boots, it was around this point that Maddie developed blisters and made a mental note to wear long socks the next day. Madelyn got to work with Jamie Irving in dispatch where she was “amazed to see all the plant and automation.”

Now that she understood how the mill worked, Maddie was able to get stuck into doing what she came for, Accounting. Mark and Aaron were only too happy to help her in this. Maddie then moved on to the log yard stores later in the week, working with Mima, Jill and Chris, even receipting goods and tracking where they end up.

“I really enjoyed these tasks, getting hands on and doing them myself, I certainly learnt a lot and working with Mima, Jill and Chris was great”. “I really enjoyed the week; I’ve learnt heaps, and everything has linked up together in my mind as the week has gone on” said Madelyn. “Learning things about computer programs, safety, receipting goods, I learnt something from everybody, and it is stuff I would not have learned in school”. Madelyn was particularly pleased that “much of what I have picked up is transferable to many jobs”.

In the future Madelyn hopes to find a job that she can study business or accounting in while working. All of the staff had nothing but positive things to say about Madelyn and hopefully one day we see her back at Timberlink, teaching the next generation.