Callum​​ McNair – GC Powerlist
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Rising Stars Australia 2022

Materials and mining

Callum​​ McNair

Legal counsel | Adbri

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    Callum​​ McNair

    Legal counsel | Adbri

    Could you tell us a bit about your significant successes in your role?

    I recognised an opportunity to enhance Adbri’s Board action management system. Collaborating with a local company, I developed a new unique board action management system which provides real-time updates on board and board committees actions.

    I initiated Adbri undertaking pro-bono legal work. Adbri is now the first and only in-house legal team to provide pro-bono legal advice, partnering with the University of Adelaide Law school Magistrates Court Legal Advice Service, we supervise students and assist disadvantaged members of the community.

    I have worked on Adbri’s modern slavery statements. I oversaw the stakeholder engagement of Adbri’s net zero emissions roadmap.

    I have successfully obtained two federal government grants for Adbri: one to improve public amenities on land owned by Adbri, and the other to improve heavy vehicle safety for our drivers and the other road users.

    What is the biggest risk to your industry or organisation and how are you contributing to prepare your organisation for this?

    Environment, social and governance (ESG) factors are the biggest risk to Adbri.

    It is not currently possible for Adbri’s two hard-to-abate manufacturing processes: clinker manufacturing, and limestone manufacturing to achieve net zero emissions. The growing pressure to adopt ESG measures from staff, shareholders, stakeholders, and the communities we operate in, provide unprecedented challenges and opportunities.

    Like the technologies required to decarbonise, legal teams must adapt and foster innovation to incorporate ESG measures.

    These challenges present immense opportunities. Those who are ESG leaders are likely to attract and retain the best staff, have greater access to capital and be widely embraced by stakeholders, those who are not ESG leaders may not survive.

    What challenges have you overcome to get to the position you are in today?

    I have congenital heart disease. I have a severe complex heart abnormality, and I am acutely aware of my physical limitations. I have had to overcome health challenges (including 13 operations, five of which were open heart surgery) to complete school, law school, to finish a Master of Laws and to work as a lawyer to the high standard I want to achieve.

    Earlier this year, I was a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30, which I believe shows that just because you have a disability this does not preclude you from being a leader in your field.

    Growing up in a small family business, I would from a young age, help in the business. I have learnt the challenges that small family businesses face. I saw through my parents’ commitment and hard work that although the hours are long, and family and personal time is often sacrificed, with commitment and dedication you can be successful and still give love and support to your family and friends.

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