Inspiration Award: Women in Trades

This award acknowledges the contribution Victorian women make in the trades and recognises their achievements in overcoming the stigma faced in a traditionally male-dominated sector.

Past Recipients

2023 – Katrina Kessaris – NECA Education & Careers 

Katrina embarked on a career change halfway through a Bachelors Degree at University of Melbourne. Though she excelled academically, Katrina recognised the need for a more hands-on profession. Read More.

2022 – Abbey Evans – Ai Group

Abbey’s passion for machine work began in school which led her to beginning an Engineering (Mechanical) apprenticeship. Having been exposed to the trade from an early age, Abbey has invested time into becoming more independent and confidence within her field. Abbey believes she had now reached a level where she is fully competent to work on her own without guidance and even leads times. Read more.

2021 – Sarah McDonald – Victorian Group Training

When Sarah graduated from school, she was convinced that one day she would work as a physiotherapist, but soon came to realise that she wasn’t enjoying it as much as she originally thought. So, Sarah decided to try a trade, and within 2 days of completing work experience, she was enrolled in a course on electrotechnology. Read more.

2020 – Katherine Knapman – WPC Group

Katharine loves the environment and working outdoors, so she decided on a traineeship in arboriculture. She was the first female trainee hired in her place of work, Maroondah City Council.

Katharine has been able to overcome experiences with members of the public, who, at times, view her as being incompetent because she is a woman. She has engaged in learning on weekends with external arborists – she feels this will assist her with her future studies. Read more. 

2019 – Jessica Scott Smith – Programmed Skilled Workforce

(To be updated) Having volunteered with Parks Victoria and completing The Green Army project in 2016, Jessica found she had a passion for Horticulture. From then on, Jessica was determined undertake further learning and training within this field. Upon completion of her first year at TAFE, Upon completion of her first year at TAFE, Jessica was nominated by her teacher for Swinburne’s Pathways and Vocational Education (PAVE) where she received an award for “Overall Best 1st Year Apprentice in Parks and Garden”. Read more.