Interview with Kathleen De Wit

Timber Products Operator

Kathleen De Wit

Case Study

Name: Kathleen De Wit
Position: Timber Products Operator
Company: Kimberly Clark
Qualifications: Year 12 Graduate
Age: 25

What is your main responsibility at Kimberly Clark?
The major role that I play in the production process is packaging, where I convert parent rolls which are the really large rolls from the tissue machine, and unwind them and then roll them up again, cut them and package them.

Did you get assistance to initially work the machines?
When we first arrive on a machine we are given a buddy to work with and they teach us everything about the machine. That’s for a round, which is three shift rotations - day, afternoon and night. Following that, we work on the machines by ourselves for a short while, then we are assessed on our ability to work the machine. When we’re assessed, and pass, we can officially run the machine.

What made you choose to work in the Forest and Wood industry?
I did the engineering pathways program in year 11 and 12 at school. My background in engineering, mechanical attributes and understanding engineering components made me choose to work at Kimberly Clark doing production work. Basically the job was here at Millicent and I knew I wanted to work for a large company.
To whom would you recommend your job?
Someone mechanically minded who enjoys working in a team with machines and doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty!
We have to understand how the machine works; we do weekly routines and preventative maintenance to ensure they run smoothly.

What shifts do you work – and what do you do with your time off?
We do six days, six afternoons and six night shifts in a rotation, and then we get ten or four days off. In my free time I look forward to catching up with friends, although I still enjoy coming to work!
Please note: We spoke to Kathleen about her career and what she does day to day. We hope you find this useful and interesting – but please remember, that all jobs are not exactly the same and other roles with the same title may be different in many respects. You should confirm all the details of a particular job with the organisation offering it.