John Gunawan

John Gunawan

University of Western Australia
Electrical Engineer High Voltage Engineering
John studied Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Arts at University of Western Australia

I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia and lived there for the first 10 years of my life before moving to Perth and have been in WA ever since.

I attended UWA to study Electrical & Electronics Engineering and Arts (Major in Economics). I always looked at Engineering as an opportunity to incite change in the world through technology. I always had interest in automation, innovating solutions and this felt like a natural fit.

I joined the Program at Worsley Alumina but have since loved the transition into South32. Since the demerger, it has become a place where innovation is encouraged and our people are empowered to do so.

As part of the Graduate Program, I believe I had the opportunity to really drive what I wanted out of my career. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my strengths, weaknesses and really tailor my own development towards my career goals.

It has been a steep learning curve coming out of university as a graduate but it’s a working environment where you are learning something new every day and are exposed to different areas within the business. In my 2 years here, I have been exposed to maintenance, operation, engineering, and execution and even worked in the regional space for the sustainability team.  

I feel grateful to have a job where the work is challenging and fulfilling. At the same time, with the 9-day fortnight at Worsley, the work life balance means you can also enjoy the other aspects of your life outside of work.

As part of my graduate program, I had the opportunity to work in the regional sustainability team on a project to support ongoing work in the renewable energy and carbon space. This gave me exposure to a very different type of work to my day to day role as an Electrical Engineer. As a young engineer, I believe it’s important not to feel like you’re being pigeonholed into a specific role but be challenged to develop across all areas within the business.

I have enjoyed the technical engineering challenges of my work up to this point but my goal one day is to get the opportunity to lead and manage a team of my own. I have always been interested in people development and hope to one day get the opportunity to take on this challenge.