19 July 2023
After 38 years at our BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Blackwater Mine Cameron Cocks is hanging up his hard hat and heading off on long service leave before his long-deserved and awaited retirement.
In his trail he leaves a legacy that not only people in the maintenance team - where he spent his career - can vouch for, but majority of people who have visited site and come across "Cocksy".
Cameron started at Blackwater Mine in 1984 in his own words as a "young fella a couple years out of my trade with a young family".
Moving from Rockhampton to Blackwater the same year he came to site as a mechanical fitter, before moving into maintenance planning then eventually into mechanical reliability.
His focus and expertise has mostly been honed on dozers and while he jokes that he came to site as an expert on D9H's which they were just about to phase out, he said he's found his time at Blackwater surrounded by "really great people".
Throughout his years Cameron shared his knowledge in more ways than one – not only at site, but at the local high school, where Cameron was helping educate the students in Certificate II of Engineering Pathways, when a shortage of teachers meant the program may not be able to go ahead.
He stepped in and was able to work with the high school to keep the program going.
It’s this commitment and willingness to make a difference that has made Cameron the valued team member he is.
During the speeches on the day of both Cameron and colleague Kay Orr’s retirement morning tea, Maintenance Manager Justin Sloper shared some words acknowledging just how much Cameron will be missed.
“Cameron came here 38 years ago and I think he’s done pretty much every role in maintenance that’s been available,” he said.
“For me, you’ve always been a common face when I came back to Blackwater, and you’ve always been someone that if I needed to know something I can go to and actually get the history of why it’s like that and where it’s come from, and you have a memory like no other I’ve ever seen.
“We really appreciate the help and the work you’ve done over that time, and I hope you enjoy your retirement.”
Surrounded by colleagues – including many of those he has trained, his family and lifelong friends, Cameron’s parting words about what his time at Blackwater Mine meant to him was summed up in the perfect way: “It’s in my DNA and has been part of my life and it always will be”.
Congratulations on your retirement, Cameron – and thank you for your many years’ service and commitment to not only Blackwater Mine, but the surrounding community.