Anthony Mikkelsen's story

Graduating from Glencore's award winning Indigenous Employment Program has set Anthony Mikkelsen up for what is the beginning of an exciting career journey, something he has always dreamed of.

Although Anthony's family now live in Innisfail he spent most of his schooling life in Mount Isa where he attended Townview State School and Spinifex State College. After school he returned to Innisfail and not being afraid of getting his hands dirty or a bit of physical hard work, did a stint on a local banana farm.

Shortly after arriving back in Mount Isa a family member encouraged him to apply for a position on Glencore's Indigenous Employment Program and he did everything that was required to successfully secure his place on the program. This is when Anthony embarked on what would become some of the most memorable times of his life.

Initially the Indigenous Employment Program only offered an underground program, however in 2015 the program expanded to introduce a surface pilot program. Anthony was one of the first to successfully complete the surface program which was hosted for the first time through Mount Isa Mines' Copper Concentrator.

After completing the program, Anthony was employed as a contractor for the Copper Concentrator and it was here that he realised he had a knack for welding and a strong interest in mechanical engineering and the mechanical trade. When applications were called for new apprentices, Anthony's work colleagues strongly encouraged him to apply. He was one of 27 successful candidates to gain a placement in the 2016 Glencore North Queensland Apprenticeship Program.

Anthony says it was an honour to be chosen for such a highly sought after placement.

"I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to take part in the Indigenous Employment Program, which kick-started my mining career and has given me the most amazing opportunities. Completing the program is one of my proudest achievements," Anthony says.

"It's really exciting to have the opportunity to get a trade qualification under my belt, while being paid to work in a job I really enjoy.

"I am lucky to be able to work with and learn from some of the industry's most capable tradespeople. The tradies are always willing to share their knowledge and experience and the support and camaraderie I get from working with them is invaluable."

At the Indigenous Employment Program graduating ceremony Anthony received the Leadership Award and although public speaking was a little out of his comfort zone, he was asked to address the new intake of program participants. With his new found confidence, it gave him a real sense of achievement and satisfaction to be able to share his experiences. He hopes that by doing this he can inspire and give encouragement and motivation to other young Indigenous people to recognise that through hard work and determination they too can realise their goals.

The Indigenous Employment Program offers participants a nationally recognised qualification, tailored skills development, mentoring, and a potential pathway into real, full-time roles. Anthony's involvement and success in the program has cemented his interest in the mining industry and steered him in the direction of a new career.