GEORGIA Foley is the only full-time female underground electrician at Whitehaven Coal.
She just won the NSW Training Awards special award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation, but for Ms Foley there's nothing special about women in mining - it's just what she wanted to do.
"There are a lot more women going into open cut mines these days, I encourage apprenticeships and obviously a lot of women are going out there truck-driving or operating which I reckon is great for our area," she said.
"I really highly recommend apprenticeships to women who are strong-minded and willing to get in there and have a go, there are so many benefits and you get so much from it."
Ms Foley works for a contractor at Narrabri and fixes breakdowns, does maintenance work, daily inspections and works as an operator as well.
When she started her apprenticeship she received the Bert Evans Scholarship.
Working underground is not for everyone, but Ms Foley said she loves the challenge.
"It's very hard and challenging but that's what I love about it, I'm the only female underground full-time, so I have a great relationship with my crew which makes it easy to go to work.
"I was shocked, to have won the New England region Apprentice of the Year and then to win the award in NSW - I'm speechless."
The awards were on Friday.