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Autism acceptance alive and well at BHP

April is World Autism Month and it’s a cause close to our hearts at BHP.

In partnership with the Autism Academy of Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) we recently welcomed a record-breaking 10 interns into our Neurodiversity Internship Program.

Manager Larissa Mearns has been a strong advocate of BHP’s neurodiversity program since it began in 2018.

“The program is fantastic and gives us an opportunity to benefit from a different approach to the work we do, and learn how to be more inclusive of everyone,” Larissa said.

“The diversity of thought the interns have brought into my team in the past few years often leads to innovation.”

At BHP, neurodiversity means nurturing career pathways to include a variety of neurological conditions, including ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, and Autism.

After their internship concludes, we help participants design and implement career plans by working with organisations such as AASQA, the International Software Testing Quality Board and Curtin University.

One of the first interns through the program, Alexandra Helens, started as an intern testing software and is now a DevOps specialist working for Technology, testing software for BHP sites and offices around the world.

Alexandra’s side passion is improving neurodiverse representation in the workplace, which she supports by chairing the NeuroBHP committee.

Alexandra is supported by Nanwen Sounness and Samara Love (pictured) on the NeuroBHP committee. Nanwen works to find positions within BHP for our interns, and Samara works to coordinate events to educate our leaders about the benefits of neurodiversity.

Watch this inspiring video to learn more about neurodiversity through our team’s eyes.