Challenges Mel McLellan has faced in life have shaped her determination to succeed in male-dominated work environments. She left an unstable family home at 16 and joined the Royal Australian Navy, where she stayed for 14 years but had life turned upside down when her husband passed away suddenly.
At the time Mel’s children were young and the electrical qualifications she had been working towards for a career post-Navy became even more important. She eventually left the Navy to pursue an electrical apprenticeship, during which she was nominated as WA Apprentice of the Year. Since joining Rio Tinto, Mel has made a huge impact with her passion for creating safe working spaces for women and the implementation of a Working With Live Equipment Register that ensures all live work on site goes through a rigorous review process.
Mel has established a network within Rio Tinto’s Iron Ore Resource Development Division providing a forum for women to talk about challenges they are experiencing and has mentored 12 female apprentices through traineeships for a Certificate 2 in Engineering. Outside of work, Mel has coached her son’s football team and volunteers with Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation.