Family's bravery after shock death of dad in mining accident

Morgan Hansen stayed in her trade despite the loss of her dad in a mine accident.
Morgan Hansen stayed in her trade despite the loss of her dad in a mine accident. Troy Kippen

EIGHT months ago Morgan Hansen was working at Coppabella mine when her world turned upside down.

Her father had died in a horrific mining accident.

READ | Death of mining contractor shakes Bowen Basin community

Now this brave young woman is making her father proud by carving out her own path in the male-dominated industry.

Ian Hansen, 55, was an UGL contract worker at Newlands coal mine when he was killed after a piece of steel struck him in August last year.

At the time, Morgan was working at Coppabella mine and went home on the weekends to visit her family.

But after the tragedy she moved home to the family cane farm at Mt Pelion, near Calen, to be with her mother, older brother and sister.

"Dad is always going to be part of our lives," Morgan said. "It's hard at first. It's always going to be hard.

"A lot of people don't understand what it's like. This whole person that was always in your life, is just not there... missing."

Instead of throwing away a diesel fitter career that she started at Coppabella, Morgan decided to embrace it and her future because "that's what dad would have wanted".

After Ian's death the family was overwhelmed with support from the farming and Bowen Basin mining communities; and Morgan received a call that would change her life.

She was offered an apprenticeship with Haynes Group in Mackay.

Haynes Group chief executive officer Rob Freeman was in Mackay Wednesday to catch up with Morgan and the staff at the Mackay depot. He said it didn't take long before management decided they wanted to help the family.

"Everyone knew about the tragedy the day it happened," Mr Freeman said.

"Once we knew the family involved, one of the team members here reached out to Morgan and had the conversation (about a future with Haynes)."

He said Haynes Group was like a big family and, with plans to expand internationally, the CEO hoped to retain the open culture and "family feel" to inspire innovation.


Morgan's mother Sue and her late father Ian Hansen.
Morgan's mother Sue and her late father Ian Hansen. Contributed

Although Morgan grew up on a cane farm and had a love of music, she was always interested in machinery. Her dad decided to work in the mines after a fire destroyed a harvester nine years ago - and the family accepted the farming life was incredibly tough.

He took a job as a trades' assistant working at a number of mines.

While he was at Glencore's Newlands Coal Mine, Morgan started her apprenticeship at Coppabella. Much like her father, Morgan was embraced for her hard work, dedication, and optimism.

She grabbed the opportunity to continue her apprenticeship; it meant she could follow her dream of learning a trade, while being close to her mum.


Morgan Hansen working of a piece of heavy equipment at Haynes Machenical
Morgan Hansen working of a piece of heavy equipment at Haynes Machenical Troy Kippen

Sue says her daughter was so much like her father and she believes she was always going to succeed.

"The song Humble and Kind best summed up Ian. He was easily liked and he worked hard," she said.

"He worked in the mines to help keep the farm going."

Ian's spirit has also been taken up by their son, Todd, who works the farm while also working as an operator at Hail Creek.


"I have a wonderful family," Sue Hansen said.

Topics:  calen editors picks mackay mining accident mt pelion

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Years of service recognised

COMMUNITY STALWARTS: Len and Joan Hubbard (centre) with QLD Transport operations Toowoomba's Sharon Kim and Chris Trevor.

Hubbards celebrate life's work

Highway roadworks discussed

WORKS: Project manager Jason Edge.

Roadworks information session held.

Police probe fatal crash in south-west Queensland

Generic crime scene images showing Police tape. Crime Police Forensic. Pics Bill Hearne

The incident west of Toowoomba occurred about 3.30pm yesterday

Local Partners