two images one in black and white with two men in hard hats one with the same man in colour

Career surge: Apprentice sparky to Vice President

Meet David, our Vice President of BHP Projects.

Originally a 'sparky', David now leads the development and delivery of our multi-billion project portfolio in Australia.

“Where I am today is beyond anything I imagined as a young lad.”

David began his electrical apprenticeship with New Hope Group in Ipswich, and said the highlight was the people he learned from.

“In my electrician days, I worked closely with other tradespeople and miners and found them to be authentic, loyal and have a lot of integrity. I'm still mates with some of them to this day,” he said.

“It was my electrical engineering manager who continually pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It taught me that you are only limited by what you think you can do.

“As you develop into varying roles in your career, not only do you grow professionally, but also personally. As you do this, opportunities present.”

David’s tradie roots have given him an edge to deliver in senior leadership roles.

“Starting as an apprentice means you are on the absolute front-line. As I worked my way up through different levels of the organisation it provided a good perspective of the issues faced by the people I led,” he said.

“I knew when to challenge for higher performance, but I also understood when someone was facing a tough problem that needed my coaching and closer support.

"Tradespeople are natural problem solvers, a skill that is especially critical in senior leader roles. It also gives a solid grounding in safety as you understand the risks and practicalities of how work is done.”

David’s advice to those starting out and learning a trade?

“Be bold, inquisitive and push the boundaries of what you think is possible. In time you will be surprised how far you advance.”