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When she’s not restoring classic cars, Rachael Almond is studying to become a Mechanical Fitter at BHP’s FutureFit Academy (FFA) in Mackay. In this Get to Know profile, Rachael talks about her journey so far, the support she’s received since joining the FutureFit Academy (FFA), and her excitement for the future. 

 Tell us about your journey so far with the FutureFit Academy?

I was blown away when I found out I was accepted into the FutureFit Academy. It was like winning the lotto! My journey has been amazing with the greatest thing being the support provided to every student. An example of this is late last year on New Year’s morning my son lost his house and his belongings in a house fire. It was incredibly sad and my fellow students, teachers, superintendents and the people in the office reached out to provide support. You’re not just a number at the FFA!

Why did you join the FutureFit Academy?

I joined the FFA for the opportunity! I’m 39 years old and no one gets a fresh start in a career as an apprentice new to industry trade at 39! I joined for my future, to try something different, and to go somewhere I’ve never been before in my career.

What does a typical day look like as a FutureFit Academy student?

We start every day with a pre-start meeting and safety share. This ensures that we identify things from yesterday that could be done better - or safer - and plan out what we might face today. Safety is a major focus and everyone wants to be sure you go home in the same condition you arrived in. Every day is a joyful experience and our trainers and supervisors are always there to help. No question is too silly and no question goes unanswered. Everyone here wants to drive you in the right direction and help you achieve and succeed 

What’s been your highlight so far?

Making things! If you had asked me 12 months ago to make a drill gauge I would have replied with “a what?” Yes, I can now actually make a drill gauge from a flat piece of steel. I enjoy tool time as I love pulling things apart and putting them back together.

What do you like to get up to when you’re not studying?

Before I relocated to Mackay, I was from Sydney where I harboured a passion for cars. I enjoy working on cars with my dad and restoring the old classics like mustangs, XY falcons and everything in between. As long as it sounds tough and has the horsepower! I have a soft spot for animals, my horse Apollo, and my dogs Johnny Cash and Ruby. My partner and I recently brought a caravan and plan on exploring North Queensland on our days off.

Ready to kickstart your mining career? The BHP FutureFit Academy forges new territory in the way BHP prepares its people for an exciting career in mining. Launching in early 2020, the FutureFit Academy offers apprenticeships in Heavy Diesel Fitting, Mechanical Fitting and Maintenance traineeships. Each FutureFit Academy student is offered a permanent position within BHP’s Operations Services. Ready to start something big? Visit our website for more details.

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