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Future rock star of the red-dirt kind

Media release

Curtin University’s Western Australian School of Mines’ (WASM) youngest student, Bukayo Taiwo, recently completed her first vacation work with Leighton Contractors’ Mining Division after being awarded one of the company’s scholarships.

Currently studying her first year of a Bachelor of Engineering/Commerce at WASM, 16-year-old Ms Taiwo said the opportunity to work with the fast-paced technical and engineering services team from the Mining Division was an amazing experience.

“My ultimate goal is to work as a mining engineer at one of WA’s multi-billion dollar projects and having the opportunity to attend vacation work with the mining leader in Australia really helped me to experience that reality first-hand,” Ms Taiwo said.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect on the first day but the Estimating and Project Development Manager, Robert Murdoch, introduced me to the team, explained everyone’s roles and responsibilities, and then helped me to get in and start experiencing and learning so many different things, which was great.

“I was given mine site data and asked to produce reports and graphs on productivity. I also got to use some really cool software to calculate that things were on track at the mining operations.

“I didn’t realise how much a mining engineer actually does and what they are ultimately accountable for; right down to making sure the trucks and equipment are working efficiently and the haul roads are the right type and length.”

Ms Taiwo said her vacation work experience had already provided her with a leading edge.

“In our lectures we talk about mining and all its intricacies, and I know it is giving me an advantage to then go and work alongside experienced mining engineers who are responsible for large-scale, world-class projects,” she said.

“To be able to combine study with the practical elements and then being able to participate and get that hands-on experience is invaluable.”

Leighton Contractors’ Mining Division Executive General Manager, Steven Keyser, said Ms Taiwo was a welcome addition to the team, as were the 100 new graduates recently selected for this year’s Leighton Contractors’ Graduate Program.

“This program not only offers talented graduates a great place to start their careers but, more significantly, a chance to benefit from the strong knowledge and experience of our teams at offices and projects across the country,” Mr Keyser said.

“We’re hoping that Bukayo will go on to join our graduate program and we can continue to provide the foundations of her success through ongoing support, training and development.

“From what we’ve seen, she’s certainly someone we want to hold on to.”


Andrea Barnard, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 4241, Mob: 0401 103 755, Email:

Erin McGrath, Senior External Communications Advisor, Leighton Contractors Pty Ltd
Tel: 08 9389 4854, Mob: 0431 085 479, Email: