September, 30 2012
Port Hedland
Annet van der Voort



I got the contact details for ESS from a friend. I applied online and got a position. The money attracted me, and I enjoy the lifestyle. I would prefer to spend seven days off, instead of just the weekend, so working for longer stretches, then having more time off suits me. I’ve made some really good friends, and met some great work colleagues.

I’m an Administration Supervisor and I deal with payroll, accounts, booking, and accommodation. I also serve in retail, greet people, and deal with any queries. Check in is usually in the afternoon. After four or five o’clock, we have lots of arrivals. During the week, we have around two hundred per day. We are a BHP Billiton-based camp, we have a certain number of rooms for the Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce. There are twelve hundred and two rooms, and we are usually at full capacity. We have reports that need to be sent out to the contractor offices, so they can see who is here, and check in and check out dates.

There is over ten administration staff. An average day is busy; we work twelve hour days, from 5am to 5pmor 6.30am to 6.30pm. Our reception staff do different shifts, 4am to 4.30pm then late shift, 9am to 9pm. We break for lunch, for an hour. Fourteen days on, seven days off.

I’ve been doing this work for nearly two years, and my partner works away as well. The difficult part is that we sometimes don’t see each other for a long time, depending on our rosters. When I’m at home in Perth I try to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family. It’s living in two worlds really.

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