CEO for a Day empowers Aboriginal people through training, employment and development

Oct 24, 2019

Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) latest CEO for a Day April O’Reilly joined Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines and members of the Core Leadership team for the release of the Company’s quarterly production results.

A Yamatji woman from Geraldton, April began her journey with Fortescue four years ago as Trade Up Supervisor in the apprentice services team, supporting Aboriginal participants to successfully complete their apprenticeships.

Since then, April has progressed through various Aboriginal Development roles to her current position as Culture and Leadership Superintendent, supporting a range of team members from Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) participants to existing and emerging leaders, encouraging them to reach their potential.

“It has been incredibly rewarding to see the profound impact VTEC has had on the quality of life for participants and the broader community. It’s especially rewarding to see VTEC graduates recommend the program to their family members, as this influence has the ability to drive real economic and generational change in Aboriginal communities,” April said. 

Further demonstrating her passion for empowering Aboriginal people through training, employment and development opportunities, April and her team organised a site tour of Fortescue’s Solomon operations for students from Roebourne Senior High School.

“The students are eager to see what is in their backyard and we look forward to educating our future workforce about the different types of career opportunities at Fortescue, when the tour takes place later this month,” she said.

Ms Gaines said Fortescue established the CEO for a Day initiative and the Leadership and Excellence in Aboriginal People (LEAP) program to support Aboriginal team members like April with leadership aspirations.

“These programs are designed to equip motivated and high-performing Aboriginal employees with the tools, knowledge and confidence to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. Strong Aboriginal leaders are essential to enabling a culture that truly supports Aboriginal people to have a successful and longstanding career,” Ms Gaines said.

“It’s been terrific spending the day with April, who embodies the Fortescue value of empowerment by motivating and inspiring others through her determination to achieve practical outcomes and deliver positive change.”