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.