It might not seem like an obvious connection, but Josephine Liantono says her interest in mining was sparked by her grandfather’s jewellery shop in Indonesia.
“He was involved in the entire process of making gold bullion and jewellery my grandmother designed. During my early years of primary school, he gave me the daily responsibility to report to him the price of the US dollar, gold, and oil prices; he would then ask me to guess the next day’s price movement,” she explains.
This experience exposed Josephine to the commodities market, and inspired her to sign up to study Engineering and Economics at the University of Western Australia (UWA). She then had her first taste of the mining industry on a holiday work experience program with Mount Gibson Iron.
“My role was based in the corporate office and included monthly site visits to monitor the health of rare listed plants,” she recalls. “This was my first time visiting a mine site, and while working in the field I heard my first blast! At that moment, I knew I wanted to explore mining engineering.”
Josephine went on to complete holiday work experience programs throughout her UWA degree at Fortescue Metals Group, PwC Australia, Deloitte Australia, BHP and Rio Tinto.
Mining for career gold
Now, at 22, she’s landed a role as a Junior Mining Engineer at BHP Nickel West, and is at the same time completing a Mining Engineering degree at UWA.
“I love mining engineering because of its multidisciplinary nature, combining my interests in engineering and business. Although it seems to be very specialised, it is an amalgamation of many disciplines, from geology, engineering and environmental studies to data analytics, economics and finance,” Josephine says.
Josephine says her dream career path would combine engineering, technology, business and working with people. “My current goal is to eventually become a Production Mine Manager of open-pit and underground operations,” she says. “With this in mind, I am currently working towards satisfying the requirements for the First Class Mine Manager’s Certificate Competency of Western Australia, which involves working as an operator for one year and a total of five years working at underground mining operations.”
Josephine is also a passionate advocate for inclusion and diversity in engineering, and has held many leadership and advocacy positions in her short career, including undergraduate representative of UWA’s Engineering & Mathematical Sciences Inclusion & Diversity Committee, co-founder of Women in Engineering and Mathematical Sciences UWA, chairperson of UWA Young Engineers and secretary of WA Mining Club Young Professionals.
“I hope to mentor and encourage more people in my generation to pursue a career in mining engineering, which has afforded me a plethora of opportunities to meet amazing people and have plenty of adventures!” she says.
This article was brought to you in partnership with the University of Western Australia (UWA). Find out more about their new four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) here.
Author: Gemma Chilton
Gemma has a degree in journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and spent a semester studying environmental journalism in Denmark. She has been writing about science and engineering for over a decade.