Transcript for Breaking down traditional barriers
- [Stephanie] I'm Stephanie, and I'm a fitter and turner by trade.
- [Preston] Hi my name is Preston. I'm a year 12 student doing a Certificate III in Medical Admin, which is part of my SBAT. I'm also doing a Certificate III in real estate practice and a Certificate II in hospitality, food and beverage.
- [Deacon] I'm Deacon.
- [Shannon] I'm Shannon and we're studying Certificate III in early childhood education and care.
- [Preston] When I started telling everyone that I wanted to do like all this stuff and only be at school two days a week, a lot of my teachers at school in the subjects I was still doing were kind of scared that I was only going to be there two days a week and I wasn't going to be there the traditional five days, like every other student in the class. I found it really hard having a work, life and school balance.
- [Deacon] Well, my biggest obstacle probably would have been people stereotyping with males in childcare. In year 10, I wanted to do it but people made me change my mind and then I started realising like I probably won’t see half the people I go to school with in a couple of years. So I decided to do what's best for me and make myself happy.
- [Stephanie] TAFE was probably one of the hardest parts of my career where I did face that I was the only girl in the class. Like it took a long time for some of the guys even just to talk to me, like to become friends with them, to get along with them, so yeah.
- [Deacon] Some need to understand that it's good to see males like with, like the younger children who some don't have families like dads. It's good to have males there to like help them.
- [Preston] So doing more than an SBAT has really helped me keep my doors open and I have so many opportunities now. If I don't want to do any of the stuff that I'm doing now, I’ve still learnt multiple life skills, work skills, and I can know that I can use that in other careers as well.
- [Stephanie] Yeah, there's definitely days where you do feel like a bit of an outsider and yeah, the boys don't always like that you’re there. I don't get as much now. If I was going to pick up parts and going out and seeing other companies. They kind of look at you and go “well what do you want?” I was like, “well, I know exactly what I want.” At work I'm not treated any differently at all, which is great.
I don't have to worry about being a woman or being told “oh don't do that” you know, “I'll lift that for you or you're not strong enough. You can't do it.” Having to push myself to be harder and having to prove myself it has made me a better tradesperson. If I can inspire another girl
to go into an engineering trade, then that'd be great.
- [Preston] Although it happens every day at the hospital, I really like seeing the patients coming in and then I'm admitting them into their surgery. And then a few hours later I get to see them walk out and I get to see them cuddle their families. And it's nice to see that they've made it out safe.
When I go into the room, a few of the kids, they recognise me. It's just such a warm feeling inside. To have them there.
- [Stephanie] So finishing my apprenticeship, that was pretty cool, to actually say that I did it and I finished it. I was put forward for Apprentice of the Year One of my TAFE teachers nominated me for that but didn't get it. But it was an honour to be nominated.
- [Deacon] The most rewarding moment in my journey is probably just like knowing I'm doing my family proud and having to be that like the person that kids look up to. They've brought me in like as a young Aboriginal man and they've let me bring in my didgeridoo to be able to play around the children, and it's just good to see them all be fascinated in what it is and it really feels like really great. Like just knowing that it's like a welcoming spot.
- [Stephanie] Yeah, definitely go for it. Like I said if you're passionate, you love what you're doing. Yeah, there's nothing that you can't do.
- [Preston] Yeah, definitely doing the SBAT and being in TAFE it really has made me more confident and more open minded because I'm open to now trying new things.
- [Deacon] If it's something you really enjoy, just do it doesn't really matter what other people think.