Forging a Mining Career from Humble Beginnings
New Zealand-born mining magnate Chris Ellison, 56, feels he has a lot to offer New Zealand migrants who come to Western Australia (WA) in search of opportunity. Ellison, who arrived in Australia almost 40 years ago with almost nothing but the shirt on his back, this week announced his appointment as the inaugural honorary consul to Perth’s New Zealand consulate. The appointment was first made public early last month by New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, who said WA, as the Australian state with the fastest growing economy, had significant potential for New Zealand businesses and the new consulate would boost connections between the two regions.
The Mineral Resources managing director, who co-founded the mining and contractor company in the early 1990s, said he was honoured to be asked to fill the post and he hoped to use his experience in business in WA, which is home to more than 70,000 New Zealanders, to help build ties between the two countries. Ellison, who regularly returns to New Zealand to visit family and remains an avid All Blacks supporter, said he hoped he could use his experience as a New Zealander who moved to Australia as a teenager to find a better future in 1976 to help others. “I turned up here and within a few weeks of arriving I was broke and got a job,” Ellison said. “I was very fortunate there was work around in those days and I forged a career out of it.”