KIEWA VAL­LEY

Alpine Observer - - News - Hai­ley Lemin

What is your job?

I am an ap­pren­tice me­chanic with Ian Stone­bridge at Ta­wonga Mo­tors. I have been here for about a year. I do lots of dif­fer­ent jobs but I still need help with some of them, to un­der­stand how things work and that I am do­ing them right. Ian is tak­ing me through work­ing with brakes at the mo­ment. I am con­fi­dent with do­ing ser­vices and wheel changes. I go to GOTAFE in Wan­garatta eight weeks a year which re­quires a lot of book work, and some prac­ti­cal work.

Is it some­thing you al­ways wanted to do?

Not re­ally. When I was lit­tle I wanted to be a vet. Four or five years ago Dad bought a cou­ple of cars and wanted to pull the mo­tors out and do them up and I got in­ter­ested and wanted to learn how to do that. Un­for­tu­nately I didn’t learn from Dad very well, and when Ian put an ad on Face­book I ap­plied and came in for a week’s trial. Last year was my VCE year and I did a school-based ap­pren­tice­ship do­ing four days a week at school and one day with Ian in the work­shop. This year I have been work­ing full time, plus the TAFE weeks. I have friends that I stay with in Wan­garatta while I am there.

How did you come to be in the Kiewa Val­ley?

I come from Wan­garatta, but the fam­ily moved to Pore­punkah, then to here. Bright was get­ting a bit big and an­noy­ing, it had things hap­pen­ing there all the time. Dad had spent time in the Kiewa Val­ley when he was a kid, so we moved here.

What do you love about the job?

I re­ally like the hands-on part of it. I like putting the mo­tors back to­gether.

Where do you hope this ap­pren­tice­ship will

take you? I would like to get my full qual­i­fi­ca­tion (that will be about four years), then I want to get a kombi van, fix it up and travel around. I want to go all around Australia and see what it is like be­yond the val­ley and the snow – I’m not a great fan of snow.

How do you man­age as a woman in a pre­dom­i­nantly male job?

At TAFE there are three other girls in a group of 12, but we are the only group that has girls in it. We have no prob­lems with the boys and Ian and James, who also works here, are both fine.

What do you do in your spare time?

I pretty much work and go home, then get ready to go to work again.

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