Skip to main content

Meet Lainee Perie-Copeland, Epiroc Apprentice of the Year

· 900 words, 3 minute read

We recently had the chance to meet the 2022 Epiroc Apprentice of the Year, Lainee Perie-Copeland. This 3rd year Mobile Plant Apprentice (Specialising in Drills), dubbed ‘Pit Viper Chick’, has been hailed a technical guru from her peers, and we were eager to know why this emerging talent has been outshining in every category.

Lainee Perie-Copeland 2023-71.jpg
What drove you to start your apprenticeship in Drilling?

I previously worked in an admin role within a workshop environment. I had a basic knowledge of heavy plant and equipment, however, after researching my desired trades career I discovered that drills were more technical and advanced. I was instantly drawn to the exciting world of hydraulics, electrical, pneumatics and automation; there was more to them than just putting a hole in the ground!

Further into my research, I came across Epiroc and was intrigued by how innovative they were, so decided to pursue an apprenticeship through TAFE at their Perth Service Centre.

How do you feel supported and valued in your apprenticeship?

Epiroc is a global company and strives to support all people regardless of their personal identities, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Their values of diversity and having an open learning mindset is very much reflected within our workshop. It is a supportive environment for apprentices and those new to industry to thrive – everyone wants you to do well and are so welcoming!

Their apprentice program has allowed me to have direct access to upper management, allowing for a greater connection and invested buy in from the company into the program to produce well rounded informed apprentices for the workshop floor. The product specialists I work with are experts in their field and have been more than welcoming in sharing their knowledge and connections with me, which has helped me flourish in my role.

I have fortunately attended several empowering women in mining events with Epiroc to, which are typically not often accessible to people in my position. As an apprentice it was an opportunity to understand the inspiring women in the industry and network different people.

What important values have you learnt that you will take and implement throughout your career?

Epiroc supports and champions inclusion and diversity. There is an equal playing field that allows anyone and everyone within the workshop to be the best tradesperson they can be.

We are encouraged to think differently and to speak up and investigate safer, more efficient work practices. Everyone takes pride in maintaining quality work and collaborating with an open mind. Most importantly we are all team players. These values have allowed me to grow so much already. 

Can you tell us about the award you received last year, and why you were nominated?

I was recently awarded the Apprentice of the Year 2022 award. I was nominated across the business, by multiple disciplines within Epiroc Australia for Safety, Aptitude, Attitude, Growth, and Ambition.

Across my nominations, my co-workers accredited my strengths and enthusiasm for my role, including my pursuit for technical and product knowledge, but also sharing my significant understanding on specific machines and finicky tasks with my peers.

My aptitude and safety were also celebrated through researching the tasks I’m required to complete and always striving to make the job safer with less potential for risk to the individual, or the machine. The award made me feel supported and appreciated, knowing that my co-workers want me to excel in my career.

Do you feel there are lots of opportunities available for you to grow and reach your full potential?

Some people that join large companies, or loud workshops can be daunted by the chain of command and not feel empowered to seek answers for mundane and “simple” things. The opportunities and support provided here bridges that gap and allows new apprentices like me to have a readymade “buddy” and support system that sets us up for success. I am constantly exposed to new ideas and areas of the business, and these unrestricted opportunities I am receiving today will help my transition to become a qualified tradesperson and can grow through the company. I would love to become a service centre manager one day!

Hear what her peers have to say:

"This year Lainee has opted to become a contact point for the first-year apprentices, helping to foster peer support, introducing them to their daily tasks, their workplace and acting as a conduit for knowledge sharing or networking. She is a passionate advocate for more apprentice program resources and is an active member of our apprentice forums, helping to shape options for future apprentices and share information with her apprenticeship peers."

Hear what her peers have to say:

"Lainee is eager to get out into the wider industry to learn and achieve as much as she can within the mining industry of Australia. She wants to be the “Pit Viper Chick”, the guru, and a technical specialist for Epiroc. We can’t wait to see what heights she will reach; we are so proud of her!”

Hear what her peers have to say:

“Lainee has led multiple new-machine builds throughout last year. Her well-developed trade skills, networking and research abilities, and personal confidence allowed her to perform her work at a tradesman level, with great attention to detail and quality assurance.”

We love to see a supportive workplace and look forward to seeing Lainee grow in her career. For more inspiring stories like Lainee's, follow AusIMM on social media and the hashtag #CelebratingWomeninMining

Join us for our fifth national International Women's Day Event Series, 3-10 March for inspiring celebratory luncheons and workshops where we will continue the conversation on diversity and inclusion in the resources sector.
Final tickets released, get yours here before they sell out!

Our site uses cookies

We use these to improve your browser experience. By continuing to use the website you agree to the use of cookies.