11 August 2017
Despite claiming to have a great face for radio, Richie, a BHP Operations Supervisor, is being broadcast into the lounge rooms of millions of Australians as part of BHP's Think Big campaign.
Richie confesses to feeling more at home behind a wrench than in front of a camera.
“I tried to "volunteer" some of my team to be filmed but they went ahead with me anyway!” he laughed.
The reluctant star may not enjoy the limelight but he is very proud to work for BHP.
“I started in the mining industry in 1993 working for contractors but always wanted to work for the big Australian.
“Six years ago I was lucky enough to get that chance when the company took over running the South Walker Creek Coal mine project,” he said.
The mine is located in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland and is a staggering 16 kilometres in length.
South Walker Creek plays a vital role by providing coal for pulverised coal injection (PCI).
Richie's job is Operations Supervisor in the Coal Handling Preparation Plant (CHPP) where they process PCI coal for steel making. He and his crew are responsible for operating and maintaining the CHPP and train loading facilities.
“I love messing around with mechanical things and even when I am home on my property I spend a fair bit of time tinkering with equipment in my shed.
“At work we are very proactive in terms of keeping the plant and equipment going and we apply very high standards both in maintenance and safety,” he said.
Richie was a former marine engineer in the Australian Navy and worked primarily on patrol boats based out of Cairns and Darwin before entering the mining industry.
The 54 year old is married with three sons and despite working dusk to dawn shifts, he loves the work and the people he works with.
“The camaraderie is great, the pay’s good and you are expected to be very good at your job.
"I think the culture of BHP is a reflection of the pride people have in their work.
"If you like your job it makes a big difference,” he added.
Richie acknowledges that apart from still enjoying going to work every day, he appreciates the company has a large, positive effect on Australia.
“It that makes you feel proud when you think about the benefits BHP creates for our country,” he said.
“It’s an Australian company and it is doing good things both in an economic and community sense.
“We contribute a lot through jobs, taxes and the community programs we fund.
“We're called the big Australian for a good reason,” said Richie.