SALT Tradies Stories

Part of our ongoing International Women’s Day project

Emma McDonald

Emma McDonald

Trade – Electrician and open licensed Communications technician Age I entered the trade I started my apprenticeship at 33 years old! When I left school, it was still quite hard for females to get in to non traditional roles, especially in Kalgoorlie, where I grew up. After I graduated I applied for every trade I…

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Hayley Guinnane

Trade: Carpentry Age you entered trade and how: 19, I did a pre-vo and then got an apprenticeship. What attracted you to your trade? I liked working with my hands and knew that office work wasn’t me. What challenges did you face? None at first. I loved doing my apprenticeship and I worked for a…

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Nicole Hopley

Trade:  Fitter and Turner. Specialising in Maintenance. My trade story began in yr 8 at school. After completing metal work and realising I loved working with my hands I began to look for work experience in the engineering fields. My then careers advisor wouldn’t allow me to find a suitable employer in the industry and…

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Fi Shewring

Trade – Painting Decorating I never intended to become a tradeswoman, teacher or an advocate for women in trades, but as a single mother of five small children I met my second husband-to-be and started working with him in his painting business 25 years ago. He had been a single man just supporting himself and…

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Stephanie Le Poidevin

  Trade – Furniture Maker / Cabinet Maker Age you entered trade and how?  I began my apprenticeship in 2015. In 2014 I graduated from the University of Tasmania with an Associate Degree in Furniture Design. I decided to do the degree on a gut feeling. I knew instantly that it was what I was…

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Sharon Dove

  Trade – Boilermaker Age you entered trade: 30. What attracted you to your trade? Fell into it by accident, by helping my friends and found out I wasn’t too bad at it. What challenges did you face? Stereotypical males saying I should be home looking after the house. What kept you going? The comments…

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Nancy Crevier

  Trade – Electrical Age you entered trade and how? I was 28 when I started the school program, and I got my first job at 30. I was the only girl in the whole program of about 80 students. What attracted you to your trade? I knew I wanted to do some kind of…

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Marcelle Bagu

  Marcelle Bagu Trade – Carpentry Age you entered trade and how? 33 via an apprenticeship with Multiplex Constructions. I did a pre-apprenticeship course (Certificate 3 in Building and Construction – Framing and Formwork) at Box Hill TAFE and was offered an apprenticeship from Multiplex in the last 3 weeks of the course. What attracted…

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Malinda Street

Trade – Electrician (industrial) – Operator Maintainer Age you entered your trade and how; After repeating year 12 to gain entry into the Navy for a specific position, I found the position to be filled for that year with my marks not competitive enough even though I had not sat exams yet (I would have…

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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…

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Jodie Grant

Trade – Cabinetmaker Started woodwork in year 8 at school and fell in love with it. Started school based apprenticeship in year 11 at 15 and worked for just over a year before I got laid off due to decline in business. Started full time apprenticeship in Jan 2004 and qualified March 2007 as Cabinet…

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Georgia Hunt

Trade – Electrician Age you entered trade and how. I started at 20. I always wanted to do something challenging and outside the box. After a few years off when finishing school and taking life not to seriously I began to pester my dad again for work since he wouldn’t let me leave school in…

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Danielle Barnes

Trade – Electrician I took all the academic HSC subjects, only to become very disillusioned with the idea of further full-time study, and had met my husband early on in life, and was not keen on relocating to study what I thought I wanted to do. So, instead of studying veterinary science, I thought about…

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Christine Rampling

Trade – Horticulture & Arboriculture Age you entered trade and how 18 years old via a horticulture apprenticeship at Parliament House of Australia. My mum encouraged me to write to the places that I wanted to work at mid-way through year 12. I got a reply from Parliament House advising me they would be advertising…

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Camille Agerbeek

Trade – Motor Mechanic Age you entered trade and how. 19 yrs . I had a want to be a Television Camera Operator and worked as a Telecine Operator (behind the scenes) when I left school. I soon discovered the cameras carried on the shoulders were all right-eyed cameras and I use my left eye…

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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…

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Courtney Nelson

  Trade – Powerline Worker Age you entered your trade and how I was 24 when I applied for a job as a Powerline Worker Apprentice for Essential Energy. I registered during the apprentice recruitment of 2011. There were two positions open in the depot I wanted to get placement in and there were over…

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Sonia Lea Morgenweck aka (Buschke)

SALT TRADESWOMAN, WORKSHOP TRADIE, COMMITTEE MEMBER, SALT OF THE EARTH VOLUNTEER TRADIE TRADE: PAINTER & DECORATOR AND SIGNWRITER Age you entered trade –  I was 16, I completed year 10 and knew I didn’t want to go back to do year 11-12. I liked school but didn’t want to go on to University. I saw…

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Fred Foster

Fred Foster

SALT TRADESWOMAN, FOUNDING MEMBER, WORKSHOP TRADIE, COMMITTEE MEMBER, SALT OF THE EARTH VOLUNTEER TRADIE TRADE: FITTER AND MACHINIST. Currently DOGMAN on a building site. Age entered trade – 22 years as a Mature (????) age apprentice!! I studied 4U maths, 3U engineering, 2U physics and english at school. I was apparently destined to become an…

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Di Robinson

      SALT TRADESWOMAN, FOUNDING MEMBER, PAST COMMITTEE MEMBER, SALT OF THE EARTH VOLUNTEER TRADIE TRADE: PAINTER & DECORATOR AND SIGNWRITER Hi, I am Di Robinson, I am 53 and I am a Painter & Decorator and signwriter. Over the years, I have completed a number of courses in the hope of finding a…

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Margeaux Janenko

TRADE: ELECTRICIAN Age you entered trade and how I started my apprenticeship when I was 19. I had worked and travelled for 2 years after I finished school… and after giving uni a test run, I just knew this was not the correct pathway for me. I applied for the Pre-vocational (career start) Certificate 2…

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Zillah Thorn

SALT APPRENTICE TRADESWOMAN TRADE: SHOPFITTER Age you entered trade and how – I entered at age 22. I did a training course with fusion training after which I did a few weeks of work experience I got offered a job as a shopfitter. What attracted you to your trade – After studying at university for…

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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…

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Jessica Gardiner

SALT TRADESWOMAN,  SALT WORKSHOP TRADIE, SALT OF THE EARTH VOLUNTEER TRADIE Trade – Plumber I had recently come home from a two month travel trek though China.  For the first time in my life I wanted to lay some roots in a city and call it home. I wanted to learn a practical skill and mix up the…

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Jacqueline Forrest

SALT TRADESWOMAN, FOUNDING MEMBER, SALT WORKSHOP TRADIE, SALT OF THE EARTH VOLUNTEER TRADIE TRADE: PAINTER AND DECORATOR Age you entered trade and why In July 2005, age 42 years, I was attracted to a Work Opportunities for Women course at Wollongong TAFE, a 6 month course which was an Introduction to Painting & Decorating.  My…

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