Tamara is an Occupational Hygienist who works as a Senior Health, Hygiene and Safety Advisor. She has the claim to fame of being the very first Occupational Hygiene graduate from the Masters program at the UOW, and lives in one of the most beautiful spots in the country! Here is 5-mins with Tamara:
Best location I have worked: I’d say where I am currently working- Ravensthorpe (mine) in the Great Southern Region in WA. My role here is very varied with occupational hygiene (i.e. coordinating sampling and hygiene programs, ear fit testing, noise testing etc.). I’m about to do some work on fatigue and am in the process of setting up onsite health testing such as audiometric and spirometry testing. I also do injury management and am very fortunate to have a boss who allows me to work autonomously.
In addition to that, the location of work is great. We are surrounded by the Fitzgerald National Park, which is Australia’s only world biodiversity hot spot, has more species of flora than the entire United Kingdom & is truly a beautiful part of the world. In fact I liked it so much I moved my husband and 2 dogs down here to Hopetoun- a little sea side town.
The best thing about my job is: The variation in my work. I don’t do much sampling anymore as we have a hygiene technician on site, but pretty much every day I’m doing something different, thinking of something new to try and improve people’s health 🙂 Health is definitely a passion of mine.
Career Highlight: I’d say finishing my Masters of Occupational Hygiene Practice at UOW. Training under Brian Davies was also amazing, and meeting some wonderful people along the way, such as Peter Adlington, Jen Hines, Hendo, Jane…. The list goes on.
If you want to be an Occupational Hygienist, you’d better get used to….. People thinking you have something to do with personal hygiene- showering, deodorant, washing hands! That gets annoying.
People normally think my job involves…Pretty much the above- or are just unsure! To be honest until I met Brian Davies by accident at a careers day at Uni, I had no idea what it was either. I was planning on becoming a dietician!
The best thing I’ve been asked to do was…I’m not too sure! I think just setting up hygiene programs almost from scratch has been good and getting the opportunity to travel all around to different work sites, and mines and seeing parts of the country that people don’t even know exist! I worked as a consultant in WA for a couple of years after moving from Wollongong NSW, and I travelled all over. I learnt a lot about myself and had to adapt to many different situations.
The worst thing I’ve been asked to do was….I didn’t have to do it- but I was asked if I clean out the sanitary bins in the girls toilets! This was assumed to be my job due to working in ‘hygiene’…..hmmmmm no!
The worst thing I actually had to do was try and find somewhere to go to the toilet in an underground coal mine, in a onesie with 100% male population….. I held on! I also learnt not to wear perfume to an underground mine!