Fortescue empowering aspiring Aboriginal leaders

Jan 28, 2016

Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) Chief Executive Officer Nev Power will again host an aspiring Aboriginal leader for the release of Fortescue's December quarterly results.

Building on the successful GenerationOne CEO for a Day campaign, the experience will provide the chosen candidate with an opportunity to see firsthand how the business operates at the highest level. 

“At Fortescue, we believe it is critically important to support the next generation of Aboriginal leaders. By helping young and aspiring Aboriginal people challenge the status quo and take positive steps towards becoming our future business leaders, we are making a positive impact on Aboriginal communities,” Mr Power said. 

A recent graduate of Fortescue’s Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) program, Valma Papertalk is a Hedland local who tragically lost her partner, a valued Fortescue employee and father of her three children, late last year. Ms Papertalk joined Mr Power today as the December 2015 Quarterly Production Report was released. 

“Valma has faced challenges many of us could not imagine but, in true Fortescue spirit, it is her positive attitude, commitment to succeed and dedication to her family that saw her accept a hand up, not a hand out. She is an inspiration to me, her fellow workmates, her family and community," Mr Power said. 

Ms Papertalk said she was excited to shadow Mr Power for the day and experience the pace of being a CEO. 

“Right now I feel like I’m only at the beginning of my career and to have the opportunity to work alongside Nev and the executive team is both inspiring and motivating. I’m keen to learn as much as I can from the experience about the business and what it takes to be a leader,” she said. 

“I want to tell my story to others and prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard." 

Fortescue is a leader in its commitment to creating opportunities for Aboriginal people through training, employment and Aboriginal business development. This is evidenced through VTEC, which offers training and subsequent employment with Fortescue and Trade Up, which provides a pathway for Aboriginal employees into an apprenticeship.

Ms Papertalk gained work experience and an income through Fortescue’s Aboriginal engagement program, before going on to complete VTEC’s 12 week course.
She is now in full time employment at Fortescue’s Herb Elliot Port in a Civil Operator role and sees this as just the beginning of her career.

160128 CEO for the Day