Australian Resources and Energy Group AMMA today mourns the passing of its former President and mining industry icon, Sir Arvi Parbo.

“Sir Arvi Parbo will be fondly remembered as the most influential 20th Century figure of the Australian resources industry,” Steve Knott AM, AMMA Chief Executive, said.

“He was also a remarkable and very generous human being. Sir Arvi fled war-torn Estonia in 1944 and spent time in a refugee camp in Germany, before emigrating to Australia in 1949.

“Just six years later he graduated with an engineering degree from the University of Adelaide. He then joined Western Mining Corporation in 1956, and would later be its Managing Director for 15 years (1971-1986).”

Other leadership positions Sir Arvi held in the Australian resources industry include Executive Chairman (1986-1990) and Non-Executive Chairman (1990-1999) of WMC Limited; Chairman of Alcoa of Australia (1978-1996) and Chairman of BHP (1989-1992).

He was President of AMMA from 1976-1978.

At AMMA’s 2018 Centenary Gala Dinner, celebrating 100 years of AMMA and the Australian resources industry, Sir Arvi was paid tribute to by former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard OM AC.

Mr Howard referred to Sir Arvi as “a towering figure of the industry” who “epitomised the great migration to Australia after World War II.

“A man born in Estonia. Worked in the mines of Germany. Came to Australia without speaking much English. He became a giant in the mining industry, ran Western Mining as Chairman and ended up Chairman of The Big Australian (BHP),” Mr Howard said.

“He epitomized that generation that did so much to build the modern Australia. He was an outstanding example of the sort of entrepreneurs that the mining industry of Australia produced.”












Sir Arvi Parbo
AMMA President, 1976-1978
Western Mining Corporation 1956-1999


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