September 29 2021
Name: Mel Street
Role: Hydro Electrical Operator Maintainer
Location: Victoria, AU
Can you talk us through your role/main responsibilities?
Across 6 hydro assets I operate the equipment and maintain when there is breakdowns or preventive maintenance due.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I work in an amazing space, there's something romantic about hydro electric generation. When the dams are on spill or simply starting a turbine (they are quite quiet compared to thermal assets) I get a wave of "this is so cool".
How did you get into your trade? How did you learn your skills?
I failed getting into the Navy and my options were go to uni or get an apprenticeship. Both I had to support myself and getting a trade seemed like a no-brainer. I chose electrical as my preference as I had enjoyed electronics at school but I liked the bigger stuff and how it worked. I got that exposure from my dad running a power station when I was a kid.
Have you won any awards, or been involved in something "out of the box"?
I won Apprentice of the Year for the first years.
I run Lady Tradies and Rocking Chicks which is a support system for women in historically masculine industries. That's also expanded into Hi-vis mums. Both based on FB.
“Be fierce, be feminine, be masculine, be you. Be unapologetic.”
What advice would you give to other women?
Gather a support network, you can also do that as you go, and jump in.
It's unfortunate to say at this point in time but pick your battles.
Every day you represent you are making a difference.
Have you ever encountered any negative experiences that, although difficult at the time, may have helped share who you are today?
Yes most definitely!
I did a course and Vashti Whitfield was running it and her words "things don't happen TO me, things happen FOR me" rings true. When that's hard I have a moment of misery, be sad, pick myself up, dust off and repeat that until I feel it. Fake it until you make it.
Any feedback or comments about your she wear boots?
She wear boots are an absolute game changer for women in operations.
Any other comments, stories or anecdotes you'd like to share?
Be fierce, be feminine, be masculine, be you. Be unapologetic.
Thank you Mel! You are an amazing advocate for women in trades, construction and operations.
Join Mel's FB group, Lady Tradies and Rocking Chicks on Facebook.
Tagged: In Her Shoes