Meet Chika Onyeogaziri - First a mum, second an engineer

“When I moved to Australia from Nigeria in 2016, I wanted to work with the best of the best, and for a company where I could be a mum before being an engineer. Having travelled more than 13,900km and after three years with the company, I can honestly say that BHP is well worth it!”

Chika Onyeogaziri wasn’t interested in a career in mining, until she arrived in Australia.

“I had little knowledge in mining and worked purely in the oil and gas sector, with my background being in petroleum,” Chika said.

“I started as a graduate Engineer in 2008, travelling across West Africa to map gas reserves and pipelines routes to the gas infrastructures, to power turbines and generate electricity and meet with native landowners.”

In just nine years, Chika progressed from Graduate Engineer to Project Engineer for a gas to power infrastructure project, until deciding it was time for a different challenge.

“I decided to move to Australia with my husband and three boys because I wanted a better future for them, and I also wanted to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and explore new opportunities in a place far from home,” Chika said.

“When I arrived in Australia, I began studying a Master of Engineering and as part of my studies, I was fortunate to visit a mine site in New South Wales — that’s when my interest in mining started.”

Chika has been with BHP for three years and works in our Maintenance and Engineering Centre of Excellence (MECoE) as a Principal in Asset Management – Repairable Standards.

“My role is exciting and ever evolving with new ideas and projects exposing me to a diverse range of experiences,” Chika said.

“Asset management covers the entire lifecycle of the equipment, and my role contributes to ensuring the right standards are applied when repairs are carried out.”

“My teammates and colleagues have become my family and the love and care I receive makes me comfortable to come to work each day.

“For me, the best part about working for BHP is the flexibility to be available for my family and having very supportive leaders.

“I am a wife and a mother of three beautiful boys who love their sport. Working with BHP has made it possible for me to be both an engineer and a mother, with the flexibility to be able to show up at sporting games to cheer on my boys — including cheering my eldest son towards achieving a Basketball scholarship in the USA!”