Our People: Cameron McCartney - Forging a pathway to success through the Indigenous Employment Program

Glencore's Indigenous Employment Program has been a key stepping stone along the path to securing financial stability for Mount Isa Mines fourth year apprentice, Cameron McCartney.

Although Cameron's father had worked in mining as an electrician (later progressing to electrical engineer), it wasn't his first career choice. Cameron was facing a difficult and challenging start to a career in business when he applied to participate in the Indigenous Employment Program at Mount Isa.

"My path to an apprenticeship wasn't straight forward. Facing financial struggles three years into my university degree at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), I was forced to find work as a contract tax consultant in Brisbane," Cameron says.

A few months later, Cameron was accepted into the Indigenous Employment Program, which enabled him to move back to his hometown of Mount Isa.

After topping the class, Cameron secured a position under Glencore's Apprenticeship Program. He was one of 34 successful applicants out of 390 people who applied for the program offered a placement to complete an electrical trade. However, it wasn't without its challenges.

"The physical nature of the work, tools and techniques was very different to the office work I was used to, but I showed enthusiasm and absorbed every bit of practical knowledge that I could," Cameron says.

And he hasn't looked back since making the decision to apply for an apprenticeship.

"Undertaking an apprenticeship and working in the mining industry has given me financial stability and independence."

"For the past five years, I have been able to support myself without the assistance of my parents," Cameron says.

Cameron was also a keen participant in the Deadly Science Connecting to Country program when he was in secondary school, as well as projects to improve community housing and help clean up rubbish in the Leichardt River in Mount Isa.

In 2017, Cameron proudly represented Glencore as a finalist in the QRC Indigenous Awards in Brisbane. He was awarded 'Up and Comer' in the Exceptional Indigenous Person in Queensland Resources category and had the opportunity to deliver a speech on the evening.

"I believe that adversity presents opportunities, and coupled with my perseverance and determination to succeed, I've been able to excel in my career choice," says Cameron.

"I look forward to developing further and completing instrumentation at some point to further my career and gain greater employability in the mining industry."

For more information about Glencore's Indigenous employment program click here.

Glencore's Indigenous Employment PRogram

Our program provides a work-readiness component and entry level operational skills for the participants, as well as tailored personal development. The aim is to allow participants to take ownership and responsibility, while working towards securing sustainable employment.

Participants receive ongoing support through each stage of the program, including mentorship from fellow indigenous workers.

The program is offered at Mount Isa Mines (including George Fisher Mine) and at our Ernest Henry Mining operations near Cloncurry, with several successful intakes already this year.

Winning Indigenous Employment Program Artwork Design

Accomplished Kalkutungu (Kalkadoon) artist from Mount Isa, Sheree Blackley, is the winner of our competition to design an artwork celebrating our Indigenous Employment Program (IEP).

Sheree has successfully conveyed and captured the essence of the program with her acrylic on canvas titled "Our Success in Mining".

We look forward to weaving the artwork into aspects of our Indigenous Employment Program to help build recognition and pride within the business and from program participants and mentors.

Sheree explains the artwork "Our Success in Mining" encapsulates the pride and passion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people participating in Glencore's Indigenous Employment Program, striving for success in the mining industry.

The symbols represent men and women in mining on Kalkutungu (Kalkadoon) country represented by our totem animal the Utingarr (emu). The cross hatching in ochre colours on the Utingarr and helmet represent our continued connection to country and culture.

The wavy lines and metallic colours represent the many minerals that Glencore mine throughout the region. The underlying colours represent the burning desire that Indigenous people have to succeed and lead within the resources sector.

The circles represent the communities of the IEP participants and the pride that comes from setting a positive example for those communities, and the hope of inspiring future participants to aim for a career in mining.