Louise Azzopardi

Trade - Heavy Vehicle  Mechanic

Age you entered trade and how.
15, work experience, then a Saturday job, then got offed 2 full time jobs and got into trade school, I picked full time at Cummins.

What attracted you to your trade?
I grew up on a farm always working with my hands, I also raced motor bikes and did all my own maintenance and I wanted to learn more. When I was in year 10 I did work experience in all my holidays at mostly small machine workshops and one heavy vehicle place, and I picked heavy vehicle.

What challenges did you face?
My size has probably been, but not in the way most people think, I would't get given jobs because people would think they were to heavy, it mostly happened at TAFE when the boys though that they would have to man up and 'help'the little girl but all they were really doing was taking away my opportunities to learn.

What kept you going?
My interest in knowing how things worked and my fascination in big machines.

What makes you really proud?
To say that I have completed my apprenticeship and I am trying to do my best to help others do the same.

What do you believe are the benefits of working in a trade as opposed to more tradition employment?
Trades give you the ability to work any where and there will always be things to fix and make so we will never be out of work.

What do you love most about your trade?

I love doing something different every day, a different machine, a different fault or a different place.

What triumphs have you had?
Finishing my apprenticeship has probably been my biggest personal achievement, but I also can second in HVIA National Heavy Vehicle Apprentice of the year and I won gold in the 2016 National Worldskills competition and have been selected as a Skillaroo to represent Australia in the 2017 international Worldskills competition in Abu Dahbi.

What do you do in your spare time?
I do yoga, pole dance and ride dirt bikes.

Louise is an Australian Apprenticeship Ambassador and you can read more about her here https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/ambassador/louise-azzopardi

And her WorldSkills story is here https://www.worldskills.org/media/news/skills-all-heavy-vehicle-maintenance-technician-louise-azzopardi-australia/