Golden legends at The Perth Mint
Pictured: Senior Dealer Gordon Smith, Manager Product Development Tracey Cobby and Manager Coining and Production Neil Rogers.
With more than a 123-year history at the Mint, our people are part of the story of how we got where we are. They are the legends who have helped shape the working environment for those who’ve stepped foot into the workplace after them.
Here we ask our golden legends what it’s like to be part of the past as well as the future of The Perth Mint.
Introducing some of our longest serving team members:
- Manager Coining and Production Neil Rogers joined in 1986.
- Senior Dealer Gordon Smith joined in 1993.
- Manager Product Development Tracey Cobby joined in 1999.
Q: What’s kept you at the Mint for so many years?
Gordon: “Easy, the people. I’m still friends with staff I met 30 years ago.”
Neil: “Initially the prestige of working in a Mint. Over time, the constant challenges that came with the growth and development of the industry, and the potential of a secure and rewarding future, added to the appeal.”
Press article: Showcasing the new coin press. Cutting provided by Manager Coining and Production Neil Rogers.
Tracey: “Mainly the people, whilst I love the Mint buildings, history and the products we produce, the heart of the Mint will always be its people.”
Q: Is there anything still the same as when you first started more than 20 years ago?
Gordon: “My music taste.”
Pictured: Gordon Smith with his medallions produced at the Mint.
Neil: “On a personal level the prestige still has its benefits, but overall, not a lot – and that’s a good thing! If we stagnate, we put limits on everything we think and do, and I’m a problem solver, always looking for a challenge and ways to improve methods and processes.”
Tracey: “Not a lot – the Mint façade remains the same grand entrance that it always has, and the story of the Mint will always be the same – we just keep adding new chapters.”
Q: What are the most significant changes you’ve seen since arriving?
Gordon: “The Commercial building was a staff car park when I started. We used to hand write deposit receipts for metal coming in. Gold was under AUD 300 an ounce; silver was under AUD 4! dollars. Oh, and I’ve got grey hair and wrinkles.”
Pictured: Senior Dealer Gordon Smith.
Neil: “A massive increase in production, safety, working conditions, and opportunities for personal growth and promotion.”
Pictured: Neil Rogers operating an auto press in the 1990s.
Tracey: “The building of Campbell Forrest House wasn’t here when I started – in fact it was the parking lot. The technology and equipment has changed so much.”
Q: What’s your greatest achievement in your working career at The Perth Mint?
Gordon: “Working through the Sydney Olympics and the Millennium year, putting together the largest natural nugget collection in Australia, running the social club for more than 20 years and definitely working with the best treasury team.”
Neil: “Travelling and building relationships with international equipment suppliers, representing The Perth Mint at the South Korean Mint Directors’ Conference, and being recognised and rewarded with a promotion to management status.”
Tracey: “The friendships and relationships I have made (and keep making) along the way – I don’t remember all the names of all of the people I have worked with – but everyone has taught me something that has helped to build my character and strengths.”
Pictured: Manager Product Development Tracey Cobby
Q: Is there anything else you would love to share about your time working here?
Gordon: “We used to play croquet on the front lawn and on one social club event we bumped into the Village People.”
Neil: “My first day included clearing out old redundant equipment from the coining area, cleaning and painting. Gold Corporation had only just been established to manage the operation of The Perth Mint, under the premiership of Brian Burke. From there a precious metal production ensued, and I was assigned to press setting. It was predominantly an aging workforce and the only person teaching me retired soon after, leaving me to create my own role and learn through trial and error.
In the early 90s, I commuted from Edgewater to a factory in Belmont while Hay Street underwent major renovations, which lasted two years. On returning, a fresh approach was possible under the helpful leadership of Jim Fletcher, and I was now part of The Perth Mint for the long haul.”
Tracey: “It’s an amazing place with so much history. We have photographs of Perth and surrounds from the late 1800s, letters from Buckingham Palace, and photographs of Prime Ministers launching our products. Once you have worked here, you never look at precious metal in the same way. Our company has people with so much talent, experience, expertise; it has grounds and gardens that brings tourists from everywhere around the world; it is culturally significant and helped build Western Australia – it’s not just a workplace!”
If you think a career at The Perth Mint might be for you, visit: https://www.perthmint.com/about/careers/
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