The continuous economic growth and depleting shallow reserves have increased the number of deeper mining operations worldwide which has made safety and productivity more challenging due to the higher stresses, heat and increased gas contents. Any major improvements in safety and productivity require a reliable and real-time monitoring system that provides more comprehensive information about various processes. The current monitoring systems suffer from lack of reliability, accuracy and high capital and operating costs. Recent advancements in fibre-optic based sensing technology have introduced unique solutions for various underground coal mine applications such as health and safety, geotechnical, ventilation, borehole, mine environment and condition monitoring. This paper presents recent research, development and utilisation of this technology by a group of researchers at the University of Queensland (UQ) and CRCMining in Australia and Shandong Academy of Science in China.