Introducing … Louise Azzopardi, Heavy Vehicle Mechanic
Louise is a heavy vehicle mechanic and last year was named Australia’s very best at the annual World Skills competition (and the only woman in her category!). She then represented Australia at the international World Skills competition, Abu Dhabi in the Heavy Vehicle Maintenance category. Louise is also a member of SALT (Supporting and Linking Tradeswomen) whose aim is to encourage women into trades and non traditional industries. We recently had chat with Louise to find out a little more about this pretty cool lady! 🙂
Name : Louise Azzopardi
Role : Heavy Vehicle Mechanic
Brief role description : Service and repair heavy machinery
What is it about your role you enjoy?
I enjoy that every day is different .. different job and maybe a different site and that there is always new things to learn.
What advice would you give to other women wanting a role similar to yours, a woman wanting to get into your industry or a woman wanting to start her own business.
I would say do work experience at a couple of places you think would work for you and some that you think do not, so you can get a feel of what a right/wrong work environment feels like. Put yourself out there, I was nervous and quiet in my first couple of years and now that I have come out of my shell and am confident now I have a lot more opportunities.
Tell us a funny story about your role or an amusing experience you’ve had.
I started working on one particular site a fair bit (all day) and I had noticed that there was no bin in the toilet (one clean unisex toilet) because I was the first female to work there. So I had to go up to the boss of the site and ask if he could put a bin in there, he had no idea why and was just confused but he did it. A couple of weeks later he asked me why I needed it and I had to remind him that as a woman I get my period.
Do you have any comments about being a female in a male dominated industry?
It can be a hit and miss with the type of people you meet, 90% of guys are supportive of us being there but it just takes that 10% to bring you unstuck. Over time and with the help of fellow lady tradies, I can now pick these guys off and either stay clear of them or stand up to them. you have to make sure that you don’t judge all the guys you meet off the bad experiences you might have.
Any feedback or comments about your she wear boots.
Love them, if I’m feeling down Í can just look at my bright pink boots and it cheers me up!