Adam McGillivray - Director - Bungarra Indigenous Engineering
My name is Adam McGillivray and I am a proud Tjupan man. I was born in 1975 in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and that is where I went to school. I am the oldest and only boy out of 4 siblings.
When you grow up in Kalgoorlie there isn’t much opportunity to do anything else but work in the mining industry and so I decided that I was going to be a mine site worker. When I reached 18 I started searching around for any way I could get into the mining industry. I spent over a year looking and with no success I nearly gave up, then by chance I heard about a course called V.T.E.C. being held on site at Murrin Murrin which is 70km N/E of Leonora. That is when my life changed.
I went and enrolled for the V.T.E.C. course at my local job network company and on the same day we left for Murrin Murrin. I had a girlfriend at the time and I knew it would be hard on both of us; we accepted that and looked towards the future. It was perfect living on site learning everything there was to know about a mine site, with an instructor that was not only great at teaching, but as a person he understood how we as indigenous people of this country need to be taught in a different way to other Australians.
All of the students including myself were excited about the course and knowing that when we completed the course we will be offered fulltime employment. We had three months to pass every exam and then be awarded with Certificate 1 in plant process operations.
One of my goals was to get 100% on an exam and I achieved that goal. I knew then that being a mineworker in the mining industry is going to be the path I take. We learnt at a very quick rate and were told that we could never succeed. We proved everybody wrong when we graduated.
That was when all the students met Andrew Forrest and just to see him smiling and proud that his V.T.E.C. had been a success was an inspiration to me.
I commenced working in the plant at Murrin Murrin and then moved on to poly welding and that is where I stayed for many years. I took time off to follow my second passion which is cooking. I cooked for a couple of years and then went back to mining. I have now worked and lived all over my country which has also showed me that this land of ours is amazing and beautiful.
I know that my culture and my passion has been the driving force for me to start a company called Bungarra Indigenous Engineering PTY LTD with my business partner Anthony Dodd and our joint venture company TR7 PTY LTD.
Both companies have the same amount of passion and believe that we can set a bench mark for Indigenous mining and give back to the community in ways of employment and training. For me to be associated with such a strong and passionate team is an honour and I would like to share that with as many people as I can. That is why I want to share my story about how I started my mining life, I also so want to thank V.T.E.C. and Andrew Forrest for giving me the opportunity that forged the path I am on now.