BREAKING GENDER BARRIER
JESSICA Chironna has a point to prove not only to herself but to the male-dominated sheet-metal industry.
The tradie, 19, of Whalan, said she was excited to face five men at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National competition in Melbourne next week.
“The idea of being able to create something out of nothing is really amazing,” Ms Chironna said.
“A piece of metal is just a piece of metal until you touch it.
“I’m excited and scared, too – because you’re under more pressure than the boys. You’ve got to prove yourself because nobody believes you can do it.
“It’s not only about proving it to the guys, I’m going to prove to myself than I can do it.”
Ms Chironna’s love affair with metal work came during a jewellery workshop in high school.
“At my Chifley College, we got to make jewellery and you have to do a bit of soldering and welding and that really piqued my interest,” she said.
Since then, Ms Chironna has done every course and certificate possible. She works for IAC Acoustics where she fashions mufflers for trucks and soundproofing for walls, among other things, and she loves it.
“I think I’ve found my dream job,” she said.
“I think there is a definitely a chance for me to win … I might not be as experienced as everyone else who’s going but I have put in all the effort to going. I’ve done all the extra work to get there. I just haven’t been in the trade as long.”
Jessica Chironna is competing at the WorldSkills Australia National competition in Melbourne. Picture: Tim Clapin