Mutual gains for two national institutions

Department of Defence

The Australian Army has renewed its strategic partnership with resources company BHP for another two years, paving the way for deeper collaboration between the two global organisations.

Chief of Army Lieutenant General Simon Stuart and BHP President Australia Geraldine Slattery extended the partnership at BHP’s Brisbane office on February 20.

Established in 2019, the partnership is a non-commercial agreement that advances the interests of both organisations by strengthening learning and promoting innovation.

“We share many characteristics as national institutions, but also in terms of our people, operations and working environments,” Lieutenant General Stuart said.

“The partnership gives us the opportunity to find those areas of commonality, learn from each other and expose our people to new ways of doing things.”

Warrant Officer Class One Brad Bargenquast has been seconded to BHP in 2024 under the partnership, having heard about the opportunity from others who had participated in it.

“I’m working in BHP’s operational learning team analysing how the future skills of BHP tradespersons may change as they adapt their operations,” WO1 Bargenquast said.

“It’s a great opportunity to extend myself professionally but also bring my experience as a vehicle mechanic in the Army to help BHP look at this challenge.”

Secondments are one aspect of the partnership. Others include shorter exchanges of training staff and subject matter experts, collaboration on technical innovation such as robotics, talent management, and initiatives to advance workplace health and safety.

The partnership has also resulted in an increase in BHP employees entering part-time Army service.

“The BHP Army Program provides our employees a unique pathway for developing new skills and capabilities through part-time service in the Army,” Ms Slattery said.

“There is a lot to be gained across both organisations from sharing talent, learnings and continual improvement in safety leadership, capability and culture.

“We’re also working on a veterans and spouses ERG, which will help to foster an inclusive workplace for individuals associated with military and emergency services, which recognises their unique skills, knowledge and experience as benefits to our businesses, and assists to create employment pathways for veterans transitioning out of service life.

“At BHP, we welcome the opportunity to open new talent pools and create secure, stable employment for veterans and partners of current serving members.”

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