man in wheelchair in front of a rio 2016 sign

Paralympian and disability advocate - meet Adam Deans

Paralympian and World Champion in the sport of Wheelchair Basketball, leg amputee, and cancer and brain surgery survivor, Adam Deans, Specialist Program Coach in the Maintenance and Engineering Centre of Excellence (MECoE) has overcome many physical and mental obstacles, while achieving the pinnacle of his sport.

Adam made his debut for the Australian Mens Wheelchair Basketball team (The Rollers) in 2009 and was selected to represent the team, and Australia, at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. In 2017, Adam suffered a brain haemorrhage, fortunately making a full recovery, and went onto join BHP as a Specialist Scheduler six years ago.

Adam has carried over his skills and work ethic as a professional athlete to his coaching role within the Technical Entry Program and advocates for people with a disability as a member of the MECoE Inclusion and Diversity Council (IDC).

We caught up with Adam to learn more about his time as a professional athlete, and now his role at BHP, working in the MECoE and on the MECoE IDC.

What’s the best thing about working at BHP?

I could give countless examples but having the option to work flexibly from home, being able to take 18 weeks parental leave and working with people from various backgrounds that bring a range of diverse thoughts and ideas to the business are the three things that come to mind.

What excites you most about your role in the MECoE?

I am currently in a coaching role within the Technical Entry Program where I provide on boarding and upskilling to participants joining the business in a planning and/or scheduling role which I thoroughly enjoy. It enables me to put my career interests of coaching, mentoring, teamwork, and leadership into practice.

Best career highlight to date (in or outside of BHP)?

My career highlight outside of BHP was hearing the Australian national anthem every time I was fortunate enough to represent my country and achieving the pinnacle of my sport with 17 of my best mates. My career highlight as a BHP employee is similar in that it involves achieving a common goal within a team. I am quite proud of playing my part in improving the way that the MECoE onboards planners and schedulers to the business to ensure they are given the tools and resources they need to succeed in their roles.

Who has been your strongest influence in life?

It’s quite a simple and possibly an obvious answer, but my mum would have to be the strongest influence in my life. She was a single mum that raised two kids, worked so my sister and I never missed out, completed a teaching degree and was the rock of our family when I was diagnosed with cancer. She provided me with strong values and morals such as hard work and resilience.

Can you tell us a bit about your role on MECoE IDC and why inclusion and diversity is important to you?

My role as a member of the MECoE IDC is to raise awareness and be an advocate for people with a disability within the MECoE and the wider business. My motivation in joining the MECoE IDC was, and still is, to provide a platform to encourage people who identify as someone with a disability to share their inspirational and motivational life, and professional stories to better educate all MECoE and BHP employees around disability. I think it’s important that everyone feels included regardless of race, gender, or ability in whatever they do and wherever they go, and that having a diverse range of thought within any organisation or team can only improve overall performance.