Chance encounters, decades apart

It was 39 years ago when a bright eyed 16 year old kid wanting to take on the world and experience what life had to offer was finishing off one of his first jobs as part of the shearing team as a roustabout from the Hill Springs Station team. He was offered a lift back to Carnarvon and he accepted the lift from a gentleman in his Ford Fairlane. The owner of the car was Bruce Bung. The young roustabout was Terrence Drage.

Four decades on, on a hot morning, after a recent rain overnight at the FMG 145 Rail Camp car park an unlikely reunion took place.

And what brought the two back together after all these years? Terrence Drage as part of the IMC NEMMS JV grader team was tasked to assist Bruce, IMC NEMMS JV Director, to work on the grounds in and around the community of Woodstock.

Terrence Townley, Operations Superintendent led the day’s activities organised by IMC NEMMS JV Director, Bruce Bung. The purpose for the day was to help the community of Woodstock, located 150km south of Port Hedland.

Work included the grading of access tracks and the cemetery road in Bruce’s community and the final resting place of Bruce’s family including his Son and Daughter. The day also saw the team clean up a new accommodation area to replace the existing block which was damaged in a recent fire.

Operator, Terrence Drage joined IMC NEMMS JV in May 2019. He started driving trucks for us at the Cape Lambert re- handle project and moved to subsequent roles at Hope Downs rehab project, Dampier under belt clean-up and now working as an integral part of the Power Lines Transmission project.

Mr Townley remembers Terrence Drage’s enthusiasm when starting with IMC NEMMS JV, “When I first met Terrence he asked if I could get him into a grader to learn how it worked. That was 17 months ago. He now operates a host of plant and equipment in our business including the grader. His immediate goals are to keep working in the team and to learn to operate more mobile plant working towards buying his own place in Kalbarri.”

This experience is a great example of the realisation of outcomes for our JV partners, the ability to provide employment and career opportunities for aboriginal people and for the fulfilment of our JV Partner community goals.

“Reminiscing the events of a distant shared job and a laugh with a brief exchange of life experiences and a life spent in the Pilbara region was an opportunity not many people would get to share in. “

“I remember you young fella.”