Rio Tinto has announced the appointment of Ben Wyatt as a non-executive director, effective 1 September 2021.
Mr Wyatt is a former Treasurer and Aboriginal Affairs Minister in the Western Australian Government whose career started in law, initially as a barrister and solicitor with a major national Australian law firm.
A graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon and a non-executive director of Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Mr Wyatt has a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Western Australia and a Masters of Science with Distinction from the London School of Economics.
Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said the move was aimed at restoring trust with Traditional Owners and other stakeholders following the destruction of historically significant rockshelters at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
“I am delighted to welcome Ben to the Rio Tinto Board,” Mr Thompson said.
“With family links to the Pilbara and an impressive track record in public life, Ben’s knowledge of public policy, finance, international trade and Indigenous affairs will significantly add to the depth of knowledge on the Board at a time when we are seeking to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders in Australia and around the world.”
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Wyatt said: “I have deep respect for the resources sector in Australia and have long been impressed with the professionalism and commitment demonstrated by Rio Tinto.
“I was deeply saddened and disappointed by the events at Juukan Gorge but I am convinced that Rio Tinto is committed to changing its approach to cultural heritage issues and restoring its reputation, particularly in Australia and Western Australia.
“I am looking forward to working with the Board in building on the momentum for change generated by the new leadership team.”