02 February 2024
Wayan Rahayudha is always smiling – just ask his teammates. But this week he has an extra big grin, having been awarded Driller of the Year by the International Society of Explosives Engineers.
Nominated for the prestigious award by his team at South Flank for his drilling skills and experience, dedication to safety, rock solid work ethic, and infectious positive attitude to life, Wayan was surprised to hear that he had won the Australasian chapter category. “It’s a real honour, especially as I didn’t even know I had been nominated,” he says. “I’m lucky to be part of the South Flank family, my crew is great, really supportive, and we’re all learning, so we all help each other.”
“Wayan is one of the longest-serving drillers at South Flank, having joined the team in 2020, while the mine was still in construction,” says Drill and Blast Superintendent Marty Dzeinis. “He’s just such a solid team member, really knowledgeable, always positive, always happy to help out and mentor new starters.”
Born in Kuta, Bali, Wayan grew up in the surf, finding work with Rip Curl looking after team riders like Mick Fanning – and eventually meeting his wife to be. After marrying, he came to Australia in 2012, starting his drilling career offsiding on exploration rigs in the Goldfields. “It was a culture shock, but I just loved camping in the bush, and learned the trade bit by bit,” he recalls.
While he now lives on the WA coast with his partner and three young children, he returns to Bali regularly. “I’m lucky I can work a flexible roster, two weeks on two weeks off, which lets me go home for a week every month to see my parents and help look after the family temple.”
He’s about to head back to Bali with his family for six weeks, to oversee the building of some units on a property at Tuban, part of his long-term plan to run a surf school from there. No doubt he’ll be taking the commemorative ISEE winner’s jacket to show his parents. “They’ll be stoked,” he says with a signature grin.
The ISEE is the primary international organisation for the drill and blast profession, dedicated to advancing the science and art of explosives engineering. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, it has 3000 members across 40 chapters in 75 countries.