Tullah's Holly Roughley began driving trucks down mine shafts and found security and fulfilment

ROUGH START: 27-year-old Holly Roughley is proud of her job, her battle to get there, and the fulfillment she get from the
ROUGH START: 27-year-old Holly Roughley is proud of her job, her battle to get there, and the fulfillment she get from the "serenity" of her new life at Tullah. Picture: Meg Powell

As Holly Roughley shows up to tackle her gruelling, 12-hour shifts each day, she takes pride in the knowledge that she is following in the footsteps of four generations of Tasmanian West Coast miners.

The first woman in her family to take the plunge, Ms Roughley said she relished the challenges of working in a male dominated industry, the long hours underground and finding fulfilment in a small, quiet town.

But the path there hasn't been easy.

At age 21, Ms Roughley became the carer of her then six-year-old cousin, Skye.

"Her parents couldn't look after her at the time," she reflected.

"I was studying, working full time at Meercroft (Latrobe) and basically raising her. I wouldn't say I was ever a normal 21-year-old, I was already a very independent young woman. We have a very close relationship."

I was never a big one for partying. The secret is just being happy where you are.

Holly Roughley

Despite the pressure of raising a child, it wasn't long before Ms Roughley had saved up enough money to buy her own home.

"I bought an old housing commission house in Devonport ... I never thought I'd own a home," she said.

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Five years quickly flew, and Ms Roughley began to crave a new challenge.

"I just came across a job online," she said.

"I felt like I needed a change. I was working in aged care and I thought I'd give it a try. That was two years ago, and here I am."

As she speaks, Ms Roughley sits in front of the iconic structures of Tasmania's oldest continuous mine.

Holly Roughley now works for MMG, driving trucks at the Rosebery Mine. Picture: Meg Powell

Holly Roughley now works for MMG, driving trucks at the Rosebery Mine. Picture: Meg Powell

For the last two years she has worked at the Rosebery Mine as a truck driver.

She is also undertaking further TAFE studies, and even recently bought a second house in the sleepy town of her childhood - Tullah.

"I like the serenity of it," she said.

"I was never a big one for partying. The secret is just being happy where you are.

"Skye's actually coming back to live with me soon. I like my own space but we have a really close relationship and I'm looking forward to that."

Ms Roughley's story recently captured the interest of the Tasmanian Women in Resources and Manufacturing Awards 2021, where she was named joint winner of the Exceptional Young Woman in Tasmanian Resources category.

She was named alongside Amby Ramasubramanian, a process engineer for Bell Bay Aluminium.

This story How a young woman started driving trucks and found security and fulfilment first appeared on The Advocate.