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Nigel Atkinson
As at April 2013


Name/ Nickname: Nigel Atkinson (Big Nige)

Age: 64

Family? (Marital status?)
Married to the lovely Christa for all of my adult life + 2 sons who have long since married and left the nest, 4 ½ grandchildren in the USA.

Current job/Role ?
Principal Mine surveyor for Anglo American Metallurgical Coal

What’s the best advice your parents ever gave to you?
Treat all people with respect.

What’s your claim to fame?
I love life and cannot wait to retire and be busier than I am now.

What’s your personal motto?
Treat all people with respect.

What makes you happy?
Spending time with my family.

What makes you angry?
People who think they know everything.

Career History

Career to date?
I have spent the last 30 years working in Central Queensland in underground and open cut coal mines.

Career influences?
All of the people I work with.

Career highlight (biggest achievement)?
Mentoring 6 surveyors to registration as Mine Surveyors in 2012/13.   

Career shocker?
None that I am aware of.

Career goals?
To transition into part time surveying, fixing fences, clearing bush, cutting down plantation trees and using this timber to build chairs.  

Survey Work / People

What is the best piece of survey equipment/technology/software that you have used & why?
HP97 calculator: this enabled me to easily dump my brains onto a small programmable card and print out the results.  

What is the oldest piece of survey equipment that you have used?
Curta hand held mechanical calculator.

Who's the strangest/funniest/unorthodox survey character that you've met so far (and why) ? 
Lea Capon: he could reiterate any calculation to get a “fit for purpose” solution.

What's the most contentious survey issue in your workplace at the moment?(eg. Hours of work, $$, career path, poor planning/scheduling, technology/equipment improvements, field experience, housing, training …???)
Obtaining respect from other professionals for what we contribute to mining by turning their dreams into reality.

If you were the boss for a day - list 3 things you would change?
Hours of work, introduce continuous improvement for both the job and individuals.  

APART from $$, what factor attracts you to work in the mining industry as opposed to other survey disciplines?
For the last 25 years I have been home with my family each night for 99% of the time.

Would you recommend a career in surveying to a grade 12 school kid? If not, what career would you recommend?
If they are good at maths, love the outdoors and not afraid to work hard then: yes.


How do you relax?
Read historical novels, make green wood chairs, spend quality time with my wife Christa.  

What sports do you play/ watch?
Rugby Union and Rugby League

What are your other hobbies outside work?
Visiting my 14 acres at Kin Kin to: clear tracks, cut down plantation trees and generally get physical. I am the president of the Middlemount Youth Support which is a group that looks after the local Youth Worker/ School Chaplain  

Where would be your ideal retirement location?
Kin Kin on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.

Favourite food/drink?
Good quality bread, cheese, wine and brown ale  

Favourite movie?

Finally, if you were down to your last $10 what would you spend it on?
I assume this means the end of the earth as we know it now? A phone call to all the people I love and respect.

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