Brooke Mepham

Brooke Mepham

SALT TRADESWOMAN, FOUNDING MEMBER, WORKSHOP TRADIE, COMMITTEE MEMBER

TRADE: AUTOMOTIVE SPRAY PAINTER

Age you entered trade and why
Around 18 I was selected into the NRMA Jumpstart pre apprenticeship program.  I completed the 6 month program and after a few months of looking gained an apprenticeship with a smash repairer.

What attracted you to your trade
Getting paid to work on cars and also be creative. I also liked that it was a physical job as couldn’t stand being stuck in a boring office and for me it was definitely a better option than completing the HSC.

What Challenges did you face
I initially found it very hard to get a start and at times it could be very disheartening. Employers were sceptical but once given a chance to prove myself this was not an issue. Now qualified I find this less of an issue.

What kept you going
Thinking of the big picture and becoming trade qualified were important to me. Staying positive and constantly setting new goals were also helpful. Towards the end of my apprenticeship I was lucky enough meet Fi and become a member of SALT which was an important resource for me. It was a relief to talk and share stories with other female tradies.

What makes you really proud
I am very proud that I completed my trade and what I have achieved since then. Four years is a big commitment and I am proud I stuck with it. I am also proud that I can financially support myself without having to rely on others.

What do you think are the benefits of working in trade
I love that most people I work with are down to earth and you don’t have to dress up for work. I am always learning new skills and how easy it is to find another job. I find most employers are pretty flexible.

What do you love most about your trade
I like that I am being paid to do what I love.  That I can wake up, have a shower and leave for work without putting make up on. I get a lot of job satisfaction and like the relaxed atmosphere.

What triumphs have you had
 Through TAFE I won the Local World Skills competition and also got the opportunity to attend the Women Build the Nation Conference through SALT. Completing my trade has opened many doors and created so many opportunities for me.

What do you do in your spare time
In my spare time I like to spend time with family and friends. I also like to go fishing and have a beer.