10 Years with McKay Drilling – Meet Brett Jenkinson, from green Offsider to Field Drilling Supervisor

Brett Jenkinson epitomizes how setting goals leads to success. Brett is always changing the goal post for himself, challenging himself to strive to do better.

Green to drilling is a familiar start for most, to know that with determination that career progression is a very real possibility is surely reassuring to those that wish to embark on a similar journey to Brett. Thank you Brett for being a role model and an exemplary McKay Drilling Employee. 

To commemorate his 10 Year Anniversary here at McKay’s we asked Brett the following questions;

Tell us about yourself, where were you born and grew up?

I was born in Rockingham and grew up in Mandurah until I was 26. I moved to Perth for a couple of years and now live down in Dunsborough.

What were you doing before working in drilling industry?

Before working in the drilling industry I was building jetty’s on the canals in Mandurah.

How did you get into drilling?

I wanted to get into mining for a little while. I heard that drilling companies took on new people with little to no experience. I had no idea what a drill rig looked like or what type of work was involved with drilling. I opened up the yellow pages and started ringing all of the drilling companies that were listed in there. I eventually got a job offer from a Diamond Drilling company and they asked if I could start work the next day. I went and bought a pair of work boots that afternoon and the next morning drove to Perth for my first swing.

When did you start with McKay Drilling?

I started with McKay’s in February 2011.

How did you get the job and tell us about how you progressed into your role now?

I got my job with McKay’s by meeting Ronnie when I was working for another Drilling company. Both Companies were staying in Caravans in the same laydown in Eliwana. We used to go over and have beers with the McKay crew most nights. One of the nights Ronnie said to me if I was ever looking for another job give him a call. About 12 months later I did call him and came across to McKay’s.   

What was it like working for McKay Drilling back when you started?

When I first started, McKay’s only had 8 rigs. All the jobs we had were exploration jobs, mainly living in caravans. We had 1 field fitter that would come around every so often to help complete maintenance on the rig. There was also 1 supervisor for all the rigs that would do the rounds. My first uniform from McKay’s was 3 short sleeved work shirts. We were also able to wear shorts to work.  

What do you love and hate about the job and what keeps you in the industry?

I hate the flies in summer. They can be really bad and drive you insane. I like the challenges that the job creates. Drilling teaches you so many different skills that will help you throughout life. There will always be something new you will learn. The people you work with also make this job great. You will meet life long friends in this industry.

What changes have you seen in the company and industry?

The industry as a whole has changed a lot in the last 10 years. Firstly there is no where near as many Kiwi’s as there used to be. I think when I first started there would have been 3 Kiwi’s to 1 Aussie. The rosters have become a lot more family friendly and consistent. Throughout the years McKay has also worked its way up to working predominately with blue chip clients. This gives a lot more security to the company and its workers with long term work/contracts.

What advice would you like to pass on to people starting a career in drilling and also for the people wanting to work towards a senior role?

My advice would be to set yourself little goals throughout your career. The first day I started offsiding I told myself that I wanted to be a driller. I set a goal to become a relief driller. Once I achieved that I set a goal to have my own rig. The next goal was to work my way up the driller classifications to get to a senior driller. Once you achieve your goal always have another goal to work towards. This job is very rewarding if you put all your effort into it.

What would you like to see happen in the next 5 years in McKay Drilling?

I would like to see McKay Drilling continue being a successful drilling company and leading the way with automation and innovation.


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