OFF SITE: Laidley beauty therapist Bec Johnston will be working in the mines while her salon re-opens on Saturday. Photo: Lachlan McIvor
OFF SITE: Laidley beauty therapist Bec Johnston will be working in the mines while her salon re-opens on Saturday. Photo: Lachlan McIvor

Beauty therapist’s unlikely job 1000km from home

FROM a salon to a mine site – it is not what one Laidley beauty therapist ever expected to be doing for work.

But that’s how Bec Johnston planned to keep her family afloat after social distancing regulations forced beauty salons statewide to close.

While an ease on coronavirus restrictions means Bec can reopen her salon on Saturday, the beauty therapist won’t be there for the grand reopening.

“I’m driving out to Moranbah to work in the mines while my shop opens,” Bec said.

When her salon closed, Bec began applying for any and every job she could find.

“I had to draw my super out and, because of that, I was looking for work from two weeks in,” she said.

“I applied for everything from Woolies to Coles to BWS – whatever was going.”

She was offered a job in cleaning and utilities at a Moranbah mine site – more than a 10-hour drive from home.

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“The day it was announced we could reopen the salon, within half an hour I had an email from the mines telling me I needed to start on Wednesday and be on site on Tuesday,” she said.

“From doing beauty to this … it’s completely out of my field but I’ll give it a go.”

Three weeks ago Bec’s husband suffered a heart attack.

“My husband had a massive heart attack – I don’t know if being responsible for keeping the family afloat added to the pressure,” she said.

“We are in the position where he may not be able to stay at work.”

While Bec is working 1000 kilometres from home, her salon Bec’s Beauty Bliss will reopen on Saturday morning.

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“I rushed around and got everything ready, got my staff in place, signage in the shop,” she said.

“I can still do this, I can give my staff a chance to work and earn money – one of them is my mum.”

Passionate about beauty therapy and eager to see her clients again, Bec is excited to return to the salon full time.

“I adore my clients – they’re like family,” she said.

“I can come in every fortnight and on my week off to do the behind-the-scenes running of the business.”


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