‘Keep Your Head High’: Adaptations and Struggles of Australian Women Miners

Published 2010

Publication Type: Conference Publications

Author(s): Murray, Georgina, Peetz, David Robert

The adaptations and struggles for women miners over the last three decades have
been immense. This study reports on these changes for Australian Women Miners. It is
based on qualitative interviews of 22 of these women mining workers recorded between
2006 and 2009. The first handful of women began working in Queensland coal mines in
1979, as labourers, in what was seen by some as a public relations exercise rather than a
genuine willingness to embrace equal opportunity. Working in the mines can be a real
source of economic liberation for women, probably the best method for those not seeking
university educations, provided the debt trap can be avoided. But in pursuing that goal,
they face many challenges of adaptation and struggle.

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