Georgie's dream gift? A drive in a giant truck
GEORGIE Taylor is proof that birthday wishes do come true - no matter how strange the request.
Since she was a teenager, the mother of three has longed for one thing: to ride in a massive mining dump truck.
"I can recall the first time I saw the machines on television, she said. "The sheer scale of them was just incredible.
"Since that moment, a ride in one of those trucks has featured high on my 'bucket list'."
After decades of waiting, the opportunity finally arrived yesterday.
As a present for her 42nd Birthday, Mrs Taylor's husband Chris secretly made arrangements for his wife to ride shotgun on a 35-tonne haul truck.
"As long as I can remember, each time Georgie has seen one of those mining commercials she's mentioned how she has wanted to ride in those vehicles," Mr Taylor said.
"This year, I decided to do something about it, and made arrangements with Ebenezer Employment and Training (EET),"
The Ipswich-based business provides training solutions for careers in the civil construction and mining industries.
Courses to drive heavy equipment are held at the company's training facility at the Ti Tree Bioenergy facility in Willowbank, which was formerly an open cut coal mine.
EET business development manager and trainer Allan Tierney said the company had been happy to help make Mrs Taylor's dream - as unusual as it was - a reality.
"When Chris phoned us, I put it to my boss who said it was fine as long as Mrs Taylor was willing to take part in an induction and wear appropriate clothing," he said.
"Mr Taylor offered to pay us for the experience but we kept it free of charge."
For an hour, Mrs Taylor sat as passenger in a 769D haul truck as it rode around the site.
Even hours after completing the ride, Mrs Taylor said she was still buzzing from the experience.
"It was fantastic," she said. "The ride was everything I thought it would be and more. I'm so thankful to the guys at EET for giving up their time to allow me to have my dream come true."