Mick Harris 2019 300x400PERSONAL PROFILE

Updated as at October 2018

Name: Mick Harris

Nickname: Too many to name (usually something to do with my slender physique).

Age: 47

Family? (Marital status?)  Married, 3 daughters

Current job/Role? Managing Director SEAM Surveys

What’s the best advice your parents ever gave to you?

Can’t remember, not sure I listened very well…They just set an example by their actions more than words.

What’s your claim to fame?

I think drinking jugs of beer doing a headstand at Uni is hard to top. I think I could do a schooner now if someone held my legs and gave me a neck brace

What’s your personal motto?.

I have three:

  • Make your own luck.
  • Treat your employees better than your clients and they will look after the clients themselves
  • Surround yourself with good people.

What makes you happy?

My family, people who do what they say.

What makes you angry?

People with little or no integrity.

What's the most romantic thing you've done?

According to my wife and daughters I am a zero on the romantic scale.


Career to date?

  • Cadastral and engineering surveying in South East QLD & Darling Downs.
  • South Blackwater Coal Open Cut and Underground,
  • Contract Mine Surveyor BE Wilson Surveys at Moranbah North,
  • QLD Manager/ Mine Surveyor Peter Eason Surveys,
  • Registered Mine Surveyor Oaky Creek No.1 U/G,
  • Mine Surveyor Peak Downs O/C
  • Registered Mine Surveyor, Broadmeadow UG,
  • Contract Mine Surveyor Moranbah North, Oaky North, Grosvenor
  • Director Harris Mining Services
  • Director Seam Surveys

Career Influences?

Bryan Wilson, Chris Hayes and Andrew Devine. (Mostly bad influences)

Career highlight (biggest achievement)? 

Building Seam Surveys to where it is today, and having a quality staff of 30+ in two states. The success is mainly due to great staff and management team but mostly my wife who facilitates it all!

Career shocker?
Charter Boat what Charter Boat! Dragline 17 House gave my ute a bump many years ago while swinging…just trying to get spoil intecept pegs in on Friday Afternoon. I think that created the NO GO and isolation procedures at BHP (you’re welcome!)

Career goals? 
Promote Surveying to school leavers and Mine Surveying to the Industry. Maintain a successful business


What is the best piece of survey equipment/technology/software that you have used & why?

  • Drones Fixed Wing and Multirotr;
  • Precision Laser Scanner for Civil/ Plant Work,
  • GPS/ Scanners for Open Cut,
  • Reflectorless and Automated Target Recognition for Underground.

What is the oldest piece of survey equipment that you have used?

Wild T2 and T1 with Survey steel band

Who's the strangest/funniest/unorthodox survey character that you've met so far (and why)

The combination of Hayes and Devine was always good for a laugh generally the humour was directed my way.

What's the most contentious survey issue in your workplace at the moment?

Automation and BVLOS with UAV and Lidar replacing Open Cut Surveyors. Technology replacing Surveyors is an old subject and will not go away. It has never affected our profession as dramatically as many predicted. I think the future of spatial science is great it is just evolving and good people will always find work. 

If you were the boss for a day - list 3 things you would change?

  • Underground Survey Vehicles allocated to surveyors.
  • Surveyors given as choice between residential and FIFO/DIDO as what fits with their family best.
  • Professional Development for Mine Surveyors – CPD

APART from $$, what factor attracts you to work in the mining industry as opposed to other survey disciplines?

The people. Some survey tasks like all jobs can be monotonous. It’s always the people that make the difference, surveying also combines the outdoors with some air-conditioning in the office.

Would you recommend a career in surveying to a grade 12 school kid?  If not, what career would you recommend?

Yes absolutely. I have changed my position on this. School leavers can aspire to stay a technician who loves the field work or a fully registered mine surveyor (we need both) People who work in surveying can be technicians, GIS gurus, Registered Surveyors, or go onto other professions using survey as their stepping stone.


How do you relax? 

Netflix, Beers on the deck.

What sports do you play/ watch?

Rugby Union & League

What are your other hobbies outside work? 

Golf, Fishing, Playing farmer on visits to the family farm in NSW.

Where would be your ideal retirement location?

Bribie Island

Favourite food/drink? 

Indian/ Bourbon Whiskey

Favourite movie?

Blood Diamond

Finally, if you were down to your last $10 what would you spend it on?

With only $10 probably a schooner at the RSL because it wouldn’t buy a whole drink in most pubs these days.


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