NAWIC networking breakfast provides industry opportunities for students

Recently our AITC young people and staff attended the inspirational and informative Women on Tools Toolbox Breakfast. Over 100 attendees came together for the breakfast to celebrate significant contributions of women in automotive and other trades. An initiative of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), the Women on Tools Toolbox Breakfast provides an opportunity for women from across trades to connect, network and support each other as they progress in traditionally male-dominated industries. 

The event was hosted by Motor Trades Association of Queensland – MTAQ at the The Sir Jack Brabham Automotive Centre of Excellence. During the breakfast, the Honorable Di Farmer, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development, joined MTAQ CEO Rod Camm to officially launch MTA Institute’s first automotive pre-vocational course for women. 

“We’re excited to offer this pre-vocational course for women only. It enables women to get a really good feel of what’s involved with an automotive apprenticeship,” said Lysa Dugandzic, Marketing/Communications Manager from MTAQ. 

Minister Farmer, a supporter of NAWIC, and the promotion of career opportunities for women delivered a message to female trailblazers during the breakfast.  

“Never forget you are important role models. We always say you can’t be what you can’t see and it’s really important these young girls in the crowd can see someone in front of them who has actually jumped over the hurdles to get where they want to be,” Minister Farmer said. 

“In the last 12 months there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of women taking up apprenticeships in construction, engineering and automotive-related trades, which is simply fantastic news.” 

Sheree Taylor, Chapter President of NAWIC Queensland said, “it’s a great morning where we all come together and celebrate the success of the many women in our industry and also the male allies supporting our industry.” 

Aside from the launch, and celebrating achievements of women in the industry, the networking event also provided exposure to different businesses for our AITC students. 

Ipswich senior, Jilleigh said, “I think the NAWIC event is great for all students. It’s interesting to hear about businesses I’ve never heard of before like Trademutt — that’s a brilliant idea.” 

Jilleigh is hoping to get into the automotive business as an apprentice mechanic. “I want to finish my apprenticeship and then hopefully start my own business. Showing the boys that I can do it!”  

Fellow AITC senior, Abbey, also has a focus on an apprenticeship in a male-dominated industry and wants to be a mechanic on navy boats. “The NAWIC event is really good. Networking opportunities like this give women a chance meet more people with the same industry interests.”  

Other speakers from the NAWIC event included TradeMutt co-founder Dan Allen — who spoke about the importance of unlimited professional mental health support for tradies, truckies and blue-collar workers. 


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