Passion for protecting Aboriginal culture inspires Fortescue’s CEO for a Day

Jul 29, 2021

Fortescue Metals Group’s (Fortescue) CEO for a Day program continues to empower and inspire emerging Aboriginal leaders within the Company, by providing the opportunity to experience how the business operates at the highest levels.

Bill Bennell, a Nyungar man from Western Australia’s South West, began his journey with Fortescue in 2014 as a Heritage Field Officer before being promoted to Heritage Field Supervisor at Fortescue’s operations in the Pilbara where he works alongside Traditional Custodians in identifying and protecting important Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Today, he joined Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines and members of the leadership team for the release of the Company’s quarterly production results.

“My journey with Fortescue has been one of learning. While it has been a journey away from my own Country, it is one that has allowed me to bring learnings back to my Country to help our aspirations for the future as Nyungar people. Every day I learn something new about this ancient landscape.

“The Aboriginal view of heritage is about so much more than archaeology and artefacts, or specific heritage sites that sit in the landscape. It involves the holistic consideration of how they are connected to each other through the surrounding environment and people.

“I believe passionately that a cultural landscape approach to heritage can place Fortescue at the pinnacle of heritage protection in the mining sector, while achieving the organisation’s vision and have a positive impact on operational efficiency.”

Ms Gaines said, “Bill has done an outstanding job at developing relationships with internal stakeholders and our native title partners, working to educate others on the importance of protecting heritage.

“In his current role, Bill has worked to develop a strong team culture and passion for the protection of heritage on country. He truly embodies the very best of our culture and Values at Fortescue, serving as an important role model for his Aboriginal teammates.”