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Leon Van Der Linde
Project Manager, Telfer

Leon Van Der Linde
Project Manager, Telfer

Leon Van der Linde's career with Macmahon is a story of ambition, adaptability, and continuous growth.
Leon Van Der Linde

I joined Macmahon on the 19th of July, 2019, shortly after immigrating from South Africa. My journey started as a Project Engineer at the Telfer site. With a background of ten years at Glencore Coal in various roles, from underground coal miner to open-cast production supervisor and mining engineer, I was eager to embrace new opportunities in Australia.

Before joining Macmahon, I worked for Glencore Coal, where I honed my skills in different mining disciplines. Moving to Australia and starting at Macmahon was a significant step, driven by the opportunity to work and live in a new country. The energy and engagement from senior leadership, particularly Mick Fisher, during a recruitment drive in South Africa were compelling. Macmahon’s values since 2019 aligned closely with my own, making it an easy decision.

In June 2021, I was promoted to Senior Engineer Projects. My dedication to developing a close relationship with the client and the service we provided at Telfer was recognised. The continuous support I offered to the previous Project Manager in the Technical Services field, along with my understanding of commercial impacts, played a crucial role.

By January 2023, I had advanced to the role of Technical Services Superintendent. My workable knowledge of mining contracts and financial impacts, along with the ability to balance multiple stakeholders’ objectives, paved the way for this promotion.

Finally, in April 2024, I was promoted to Project Manager. Each step in my career has been a testament to the support and opportunities provided by Macmahon.

A typical day in my current role involves catching up with the Production Superintendent on the last 24 hours of production, understanding challenges, and engaging in feedback sessions with the client. I guide Mining Engineers based on new information and set planning horizons, engage in the field with operators and work areas for effective critical control, and provide coaching sessions with supervisors. Feedback on safety, performance, and culture is shared with senior management, and I plan and guide expectations with superintendents to ensure alignment. Building a sustainable culture through constant engagement and feedback sessions is a priority.

Problem-solving is one of the best aspects of my job. Each day presents new challenges that require engagement with team members or the client to find the best solutions. The most challenging aspect is balancing multiple stakeholders’ objectives, KPIs, and requirements to render the best outcome for both Macmahon and the client.

My role supports Macmahon’s business by working closely with the client to deliver on current contracts while building trust for future projects. I push boundaries and strengthen my team to deliver on promises and commitments. Leadership courses, both with AIM and the Macmahon Winning Way, have been instrumental in my development to build on and achieve these goals.

For now, I aim to develop myself further in my current role as there is still much to learn. To anyone considering joining Macmahon, I would say it’s a great company with lots of support. There is always an opportunity for development and growth in any field; you just need to apply yourself and give it a go. Macmahon respects multicultural backgrounds and encourages everyone to engage and build the Macmahon of the future.

I’ve been in the mining environment since 2005, starting as a graduate. My experience spans underground coal mines, including pillar extraction, open-cast mining, open-pit coal, open-pit iron ore, and now open-pit gold mining. Emigrating to Australia five years ago was a significant decision, uprooting our entire lives to make a better future for our kids. Macmahon aided in that journey by creating an inclusive workplace and living by its united values regardless of where you come from. I look forward to making a difference and hope my daughters are proud of my journey.

My career at Macmahon has been a remarkable journey of growth, learning, and development. The support, opportunities, and inclusive culture at Macmahon have been integral to my success and will continue to shape my future in the mining industry.