Safety sells

So, if you haven’t been keeping up, I work as the Internal Communications Manager for a mine in the Gobi Desert (that’s in Mongolia, for those who really haven’t kept up).

A big part of my job is to sell safety. An even bigger part of my job is to sell safety to an audience who might not be overly familiar with safety standards. Now, I have complete empathy, because until 12 months ago I had no idea just how nasty arc flashes could be, I guessed that EWP might stand for “Ewoks wear pants” and that man baskets… well, let’s not go there.

Now I can confidently tell you that the working at heights limit in Mongolia is 1.5m (unlike 1.8m in Australia), and rather than say “Unplug the paper shredder before you stick your fingers in there”, I prefer to say “I suggest you isolate the energy source”. I also realise now that the reason Jilly yelled at me for putting Puddles, our pet poodle, in the dryer all those years ago was because I was putting him in an unisolated, confined space.

I should also point out that:

a) I work with very patient people who have worked in the industry for many years and tolerate my ignorance (Hi Mark, Hi Mahoney, Hi Plumma); and

b) I work with an amazingly talented creative team who tolerate my crazy ideas (For example: Hey Baika, do you think we can give out stubbie coolers at the pub that say “Zero harm means.. drinking responsibly so you’re fit for work the next day”?)

And when you add patient people (thanks for signing off the budget, Mark) with a creative team who rocks, you end up with:

Me escorting one of Mongolia’s most famous boy bands, Negen Zugt, to said mine site in the middle of the Gobi…to appear at the world premiere of the OT safety song… that was written by one of Mongolia’s most famous rappers, Quizza!

Negen Zugt, rocking out in their hi-vis

Hangin' with my homies, Mahoney & Jennie

It was also a chance to see the Bearded Husband

Some of the many people who tolerate my ignorance AND my crazy ideas: Mark, Tsatsaa & Mahoney

Mongolian boy bands ROCK!

That trailer you see in the background... it's a trailer that's a BBQ. You heard me, it's a very large BBQ. Like, all it is is a BBQ. Its primary function is to cook snags and lamb chops.

And here it is, what you’ve all been waiting for: the film clip of the OT safety song, featuring OT employees from across the mine site. So freakin’ awesome!

Farewell Weird Aunt Barb

I love to reflect on my life and be able to identify the people who influenced the person I am today.

I dedicate this post to Weird Aunt Barb, who when she came into my life at 17, taught me that it was completely ok to be quirky and offbeat (I was hardly a conventional teenage girl).

Last week, she lost her battle with cancer.

It’s difficult to define who Weird Aunt Barb is. Sure, you can say she was the wife of the brother of the mother of the family who hosted me as a student in Nebraska in 1997.

But she was so much more than that too. She was a great friend to me, and while we didn’t see each other often, when we did, our time was filled with laughs and deep conversation about books, movies and the challenges of working in communications and PR. We talked a lot about hair styles too. And shoes. And Australian politics. Rupert Murdoch sometimes was the topic. And Sesame Street. She was wonderful, and smart, and funny as hell. I would leave each encounter with Weird Aunt Barb feeling wittier and cleverer, and dedicated to reading more books.

I'll miss you Weird Aunt Barb, love Niece-O