Billie Smith

Trade - A Grade Electrician

Age you entered trade and how.
Commenced at age 17 in Jan 1990 - As first female apprentice at Australian Paper Manufacturers
(APM - Maryvale Mill).

What attracted you to your trade?
I'm one of 4 girls and having grown up on a farm. Dad was all about teaching us how to fix and or do whatever had to be done. So in Year 11 when the local paper mill put out applications - I asked Dad which job would be best, he said for me - Electrical Mechanic, as the job has so many opportunities.

What challenges did you face?
I'm certain along the way there have been challenging times but mostly for me working in the trade has been an adventure - I've been able to balance work and life having 4 children and still continuing to learn extra qualifications along the way.

What kept you going?
The passion that I have for fixing things - the joy I get out of helping people.

Being an Electrician to me is just normal so turning up to a customers home or business and being able to help them solve a problem or seeing the look on a customers face when their lights go back on it's awesome.

What makes you really proud?
Working in and running our own family business. My husband Mick and his son Nathan are so critical to our business - we have strong core values based around customer service and quality work.

I'm often found to be chatting to customers and having that cup of tea just because the customer wants to talk. Some things in life are more important than money and I'm so grateful to be able to share my skills with others.

What do you believe are the benefits of working in a trade as opposed to more traditional employment?
I love the variety, I love fixing things working with my hands and being outdoors - especially when we are doing solar the view from the roof tops is amazing - it's the best office ever.

What do you love most about your trade? 
The people that I have worked with over the years.
The amazing men that have shared their knowledge of the trade with me and made me the tradesperson I am today and the wonderful network of people I now have the honour of calling my friends.

What triumphs have you had?
A lifetime of fun
Apprentice of the year 92
A grade Electrician 93
4 wonderful children
Marrying my amazing Husband Mick
Diploma Training and Assessment TAE 2012
Solar design installation and battery storage qualifications 2016
Runner up Home Timber and Hardware Tradie of the year 2016
Running Laser Electrical Mount Evelyn
SALT Vic Committee

What do you do in your spare time?

Renovate our home. Spend time in the Garden or outdoors and Time with my family.