Working in an exotic industry in a far away land was a powerful career influence on Jacqui McGill when she was a young girl.
“My grandfather was a petroleum engineer who worked in Saudi Arabia. He had a great life and as a child, I always thought that was pretty cool,” she said.
Since then, she has collected her own unique experiences in the mining industry.
Today, she is BHP’s Asset President at its Olympic Dam site in South Australia.
“Back in 2002, after working for a number of small mining companies, I was thinking about doing something different and taking a risk in my career,” she said.
She spotted an ad for the role of ‘Business Improvement Coach’ at BHP and while she had no idea what the role entailed, she applied.
“Since then, I have had the opportunity to work for some amazing leaders who have really invested in me and that’s been so rewarding,” she said.
“I have found my time with BHP as a journey of growth.”
“BHP gives you a lot of responsibility early and supports you and stretches you, so you become much better at what you do,” she said.
Jacqui features in BHP’s new Think Big campaign.
While she was a reluctant star, she said she was proud to represent the company on the small screen.
“I’ve actually wanted us to say more about what we do for a long time,” she said.
“We have very high ethical standards and we have what I call, ‘true engagement’ with our communities.”
While working in Queensland, she witnessed the power of ‘true engagement’ at a function involving local community leaders.
“I introduced one of the traditional owners to do the acknowledgement of country address and after she finished, she unexpectedly went into this amazing tribute to her husband,” she said.
“She told us how proud she was that as a senior Aboriginal man he’d become involved in our literacy reading program for local children and as a result had become a role model for the community.”
“The whole audience including me were in tears because of her sincerity,” she said.
“We didn’t do that program because it was good for brand. We did it because that is what the community needed and asked for.”
She admired BHP’s community approach because they asked communities what they wanted, rather than telling them what we think they need.
“That is true engagement and is based on an enablement to help communities to be strong and grow themselves,” she added.
“That makes me very proud because I see that we make our communities stronger by our presence.
“I love working for this company and all the amazing smart people in it,” she said.