Grace Macqueen is taking on the traditionally male-dominated trade of boiler making' thanks to the support of her father and brother and a strong spark of determination.
The 18-year-old Certificate II in Engineering Pathways student is so determined that she recently started an apprenticeship with Mackay-based company DGH.
"Securing this apprenticeship reflects all the hard work I have put in to becoming a better person in the workforce'" Grace said.
"From a personal point of view' it has also taught me if you don't give up you will get where you want to be in life.
"My apprenticeship with DGH has been going great so far. I've learned the basics when it comes to setting up welders' alongside learning welding with bare wire' and fluxcore in overhead' vertical ups' downs and more' as well as being placed with skilled tradesmen for fabrication jobs who have taught me the basics of reading drawings and job plans."
Grace's desire for fabrication and welding was sparked during her senior years at Whitsunday Anglican School' while she undertook a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways as part of CQUniversity's Start TAFE Now program.
"My initial thought process on taking on a position in a male-dominated industry began when I was persuaded heavily that I could do great things by strong forward-thinking individuals around me – my brother and my dad.
"The training and experience I have received at CQU has been nothing but a positive one. Everyone in my journey at CQU in 2022 truly helped me put my foot in the door for an amazing career opportunity and countless great experiences throughout the year.
"I look forward to starting my first TAFE block training at the CQU Ooralea Campus this year."
Grace encouraged all young women considering entering a trade to follow their passions.
"You can absolutely do any trade you want. It doesn't matter how many times people will doubt you it matters how consistent you are' if it's a trade that you'd like to pursue go for it'" she said.
"When entering this industry' I knew from the beginning that it was going to be hard' but the little bits of progress I'm making along the journey are so fulfilling and rewarding.
"Realising that things which seemed difficult at first will one day become easier and knowing that all the efforts I have put in were absolutely worth it."