From apprentice electrician to our Reliability Technician – Electrical, James sought something beyond the conventional electrician path and found his niche with Pernod Ricard Winemakers, where he helps our production operations run smoothly in our Barossa Valley winery. Read more about James’ story below.

James Fowler

What does a typical day in your role look like?

JAMES: A typical day for my role is coming to the packaging site here at Rowland flat, checking work communications, then checking my jobs for the day, (we call them Work Orders) and starting to gather the right tools and equipment to start the job!  Working in maintenance means the day can change very quickly. We carry radios at all times, so in the event of a malfunction on the lines, we can respond to fix the errors and keep production running as a main priority.

What led you to the role you are in now? 

JAMES: For me it started in high school. Nuriootpa High had a fantastic design and technology department, where I learnt about microcontrollers and direct current electrics. In my years there I built radio-controlled cars, electric safes, and voice-activated Bluetooth speakers. I loved electrics with a passion but realised that the work of an electrician usually differs from the project I most enjoyed. When I found this role, the work required more knowledge on Direct Current electrics and programming. Unlike traditional electrician work, my role at Pernod Ricard allows me to explore my passions – a fantastic match for me!


What challenges have you faced on your journey?

JAMES: Every day is a challenge in its own way! When a machine breaks down, it usually requires perseverance and problem solving to fix. When I first started here, I was given a laptop and was taught how to program automation devices which was an area I started with zero knowledge on. Through support from some great mentors that took me under their wing, I have found a new skill in automation.

8What do you love about your job?

JAMES: No two days are the same here. I come to work and receive fresh challenges and work on machines and areas I continue to learn and grow from. The ability to work with my hands, build devices and work on projects that change the way we manufacture our product brings me a great sense of pride and joy, to mark my name on something, look back and go “I did that!”

What would you say to others considering a career path in your field?

JAMES: Go for it! It gives you a great lifestyle that can take you anywhere in the world with your certificate. There’s never been a better time to be an apprentice.

Thinking about a career in wine? Discover the opportunities awaiting you here.

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