Len arrived in Australia as a three-year-old refugee with no parents and little more than the clothes on his back.
Australia was the end of a journey that began one night when he was a baby. That night, his parents were fatally shot whilst attempting to cross the Thai border. At the time, Len was on his mother's back. He doesn't remember that crossing or his life with his parents. When he arrived in Australia, it marked a new beginning.
And with hard work, Australia has lived up to the promises of freedom and opportunity that his parents were seeking.
Len started his first job at the age of fourteen and became financially self-sufficient. His dedication continued while he was at University, where he completed a Mechatronic Engineering degree and then a Masters in Finance. At that time, he was also working full time as an engineer in a mining equipment simulation company.
Len's original career goal was to move into investment banking, but he was offered a role at Argyle Diamonds which led him to Rio Tinto. Len hoped that within ten years, he would hold a management position with his determination and hard work driven by a desire to give his young family a great start in life.
Six years into his plan, Len has had an opportunity to work with the company in London. This has enabled him to get an insight into how Rio Tinto headquarters operates and why certain decisions are made.
'A lot of people think mining is as simple as digging things up and shipping it off,' he says. 'They don't realise how sophisticated and complex the operation is.'
After a role as Management Reporting Principal for the iron ore product group within Rio Tinto, Len now supervises the group-wide implementation of its new management reporting applications. He says:
'To receive positive feedback on efficiencies as a direct result of my work, gives me a sense that what we are doing is right... the current efficiencies are expected to only be the tip of the iceberg.'
These cost savings will naturally boost profits and benefit the whole economy. It makes a difference to lives – not just in relation to the growth in the economy today, but also in the investments we rely on for the future.
Len has always known the value of hard work. Through his experiences in Australia and its mining industry, he also knows the value of freedom.