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Luke Gillogley

I work at BHP’s Olympic Dam mine near Roxby Downs, South Australia. We’re a 90 minute flight or 6 hour drive north of Adelaide and while we may be considered to be a bit out of the way we are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.


Alarm goes off. I’ve always been someone who likes to cut things close and this is the last possible minute my alarm can go off for me to still be ready to leave for work at 6:30am, 6:22am and I would be late.


Arrive on site and get changed. Nothing we wear on site can leave with us at the end of the day, so we start and finish every shift in the change rooms. The best part of this is that I don’t ever have to wash my uniform, it’s all done for me on site and delivered fresh to my locker every morning.


Project execution pre-start meeting. We run through the day’s execution tasks, discuss the plan for any high risk work and review the safety notifications from the previous 24 hours.


Looking over the plant not long after sunrise. This morning we are scoping out the job site of an upcoming project to upgrade and replace a pump.

A view of the plant site


About to head back to the office to prepare some of the project documentation, but before I go and visit the most important bit of equipment on site. We order our beans in from the best cafes across the country because blend 43 should be used in emergency situations only.


Preparing some project documentation at my desk in a totally not staged photograph. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that our projects are fit for purpose and properly consider and document the risks and changes we are introducing to the plant. As a graduate I am managing two projects worth nearly $2 million combined.

Luke at his office desk


Lunch time! We get to pack whatever we want from last night’s dinner at our mining camp to bring out for lunch. I’m a big fan of chicken and salad wraps (but if it’s ever one of THOSE days I have some frozen pies in the freezer).


We’ve recently installed some new double block and bleed valves in the electro refinery and so this afternoon we’re heading out to test some of them in field. I have with me the local valve distributor and two of the owners of the valve manufacturing company, who have flown from the USA to see their products in action, and to get a sense of the environment we have them operating in.

Electro refinery Luke


Testing has wrapped up, all valves are working as expected, which is a great outcome. It’s time for me to head home.


Off to gym, I’ve always preferred to train at night, mostly because I’m too lazy/hungry to do it in the morning.


Dinner in the Roxby Village camp mess is always a social affair. We have nearly 40 graduates on site and we’re never short of people to sit down and chat to while we eat.


Living in a small town affords you a lot of opportunities for experiences you might not get in a larger city. Our local ambulance station is manned entirely by volunteers and I’m working towards getting accredited as a volunteer ambulance officer. Tonight we’re training with the Country Fire Service (CFS) and doing a simulated rescue from a car crash.


Training has wrapped up, one “patient” was successfully rescued and it’s time for me to go to bed.