Painter, Chany Sgobino
Being younger than her classmates and the only girl back then, it was only natural for her to develop a thick skin. By the end her apprenticeship ended she earned a lot of respect for sticking to it despite the challenges.
“I work with a great group of people on site and don’t really encounter a lot of problems. But I love that it’s a challenging job, I can get my hands dirty and enjoy the banter that I don’t think comes with an office job. Watching the difference painting and decorating can make to a home or building is very rewarding,”
says the proud mom of an 11 year old boy.
Chany's message for aspiring female Technicians
Mechanic/Rigger, Camille Agerbeek
Many years later she upskilled herself and moved into telecommunication rigging that gave her the opportunity to travel across the country working at amazingly heighted buildings and maintaining mobile phone towers. In her 40s, Camille began shut down work on processing plants and ended up in the coal mining industry as a rigger and mechanical fitter.
“I love the fact I continue to learn and develop more skills every day, making me very capable,”
she says. In the early days of her career, Camille did confront some challenges that came with the attitudes defining where or where not women belong, but soon learned to overcome it by becoming fitter, smarter and emotionally stronger.
Camille's message for aspiring female Technicians
Refrigeration Apprentice, Jennah Dee
Jennah thinks that being a female in this profession doesn’t have a lot of challenges except for the physical strength required, but she has taught and trained herself to do almost everything a guy can.
“When I started my apprenticeship I was 43kg so I had to work hard to build up muscle but I got there. I’m very fortunate to work alongside guys who understand each other’s challenges (height for me) and we adapt between us.”
Also a TAFE Queensland female trade student 2018, Jennah loves everything about her work and often gets to inspire other females being the only one in her field in Cairns. The team work and being a part of something from start to finish is one of the best feelings for her.
Jennah's message for aspiring female Tradies
Powerline worker, Karina Jase Minna Kiley
3rd year apprentice in a heavily male dominated powerline maintenance industry, Karina, 32 is a mom of 3
“My motivation came from my partner as well as the fact that I did not enjoy working in an office.
I applied for the job while on my maternity leave and actually got it to my surprise. I started with a 3 month old and breastfeeding, but it was a challenge we got through.” Climbing poles, working in EWP’s, driving trucks or working on live electrical apparatus are just some of the things she works on from day to day.
In the stereotypical environment that we live in, building resilience is the key, Karina says. The passion, the respect, the banter and laughs are some of the things she loves about her job.
“Even through the harder times, we look out for each other. My champions, male and female! They push me to be a better version of myself.”
Karina's message for aspiring female Tradies
Locksmith – Moya Kathryn
Moya's message for aspiring female Tradies
Electrician - Mel Street
A mum and also the founder of Lady Tradies and Rocking Chicks, Mel Street is an electrician and works in power generation, which she loves
Not being able to gain a specific position in the Navy, Mel found herself not wanting to go to University while supporting herself and was drawn to this profession.
Mel's message for aspiring female Tradies
Heavy Vehicle Mechanic - Louise Azzopardi
Being the only girl in the class, boys in her TAFE class would try and do things for Louise since the work was heavy. “They would try to help out every time but what they didn’t understand was that I needed to learn things on my own.” Louise, who represented Australia in the World Skills competition in 2017 and is now starting a job as a Mechanical Trainer, says this field has opened a path to never ending learning for her.
“There are so many different machines out there that is always a different system or style of system to learn about and understand.”
Louise's message for aspiring female Tradies
Motorcycle Mechanic – Sharine Milne
From finding her own work placement where she was laughed out of car shops to being told that she cannot do something because she is a girl to ‘I’m sorry but can you get the mechanic’, she has seen it all but still kept going strong.
“Finding something that I can truly make a difference with has been my biggest achievement. My skills and the accumulation of knowledge has created a team that will think outside the box changing disability into ability, giving someone who has lost a limb or movement the ability to ride again.”
Sharine's message for aspiring female Tradies
Gardener - Tia Jet
Inspired by her grandpa to grow veggies when she was younger, Tia got her Permaculture Design Certificate when she was 20 and has never looked back.
Running her business, Tia’s Organic Gardening, for 7 years now, she focuses on sustainable gardening including design, planting and maintenance done professionally and organically when possible.
Being outside in the fresh air, creating healthier plants and more beautiful spaces is something Tia loves about her work every day.
“When people are choosing Tradies, often men get preference as they are seen as stronger and more knowledgeable. While this is false, women Tradies have to work harder to build up their name because of this stigma,” says Tia.
Tia's message for aspiring female Tradies
Boilermaker, Jackie Morrison
33 year old Jackie is a boilermaker at a sugar mill and has worked everywhere from mining to construction, gas plants and stock camps.
“It really never occurred to me that women don’t do boilermaking and I’m glad it didn’t. I love that boilermaking is one of the few trades where you get to make things from scratch (fabrication) and also that welding can be an art form,”
Jackie's message for aspiring female Tradies
Facilities Maintenance Coordinator, Nicole Hopley
29 years old facilities maintenance coordinator and mom of one, Nicole loves what she does and wouldn’t trade this job for a different career.
At school, she liked art and math and anything creative requiring working with her hands but had absolutely no idea what she wanted from her life.
“In year 9 I chose metalwork (cert 2 in engineering) as an elective. I was the only girl that chose the subject. 10 boys and 1 girl. I kept quiet and followed the theory section of the class. When we got to the practical components of the class…I thought wow this was the coolest thing ever! I’d found it!”
For Nicole, the men of all ages that she worked alongside didn’t care that she was a girl.
“I was treated differently but only out of respect.”
Nicole's message for aspiring female Tradies
Special Thanks to SALT
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