12:09 PM, 25 Oct 2023

Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade

Host Business: South32-GEMCO 

RTO: Charles Darwin University

“Trade work for women is inherently empowering; I assumed for a long time that this kind of work would be too hard and heavy for me, but it isn't, and the process of finding out that I'm just as capable has done wonders for the way I see myself.”

The first year of my apprenticeship was all about finding my feet in an industry that was totally unfamiliar to me - this second year has been a process of finally feeling comfortable and in my element in the work that I do. It's so amazing to have the basics of my role down and now begin to take on more responsibility at work. I'm very lucky to have a supervisor, Patrick Graham, who puts a lot of faith in me and trusts me to take leadership positions in some areas.

Midway through this year, I changed my swing so that I could work under Mark Martin. This involved leaving behind all the friends and connections I had in A crew and starting all over again in B crew. It was daunting, but I really wanted to work with Mark before he retired so that his wealth of knowledge could be passed on.

What impact did your studies/work have on your life?

Being a woman in industry, I expected that I would face some level of discrimination at work. However, I've been extremely fortunate to have a supervisor and tradesmen who go to bat for me and treat me the same as everyone else. I honestly never expected it to be this way and was prepared to have to fight for my right to be here. Being accepted at work and being close with my colleagues has been transformative for me, I don't have to second guess whether I deserve to be here, and nobody has ever made me feel less than.

I'm very open about my mental health struggles and find that almost everyone can relate in some way. Now that I've taken action, I feel so much calmer, happier, and focused at work. I can't believe I lived with that burden for so long, and I'm now very vocal about dismantling the taboo in talking about mental health.

Evangelene was the runner for Stage 2 – Most Outstanding Apprentice and a finalist for the NAWIC NT Outstanding Female in Construction category at the GTNT Group Awards held earlier this year.