10:15 AM, 30 Mar 2022

Finalist: 2022 GTNT Group Awards – Most Outstanding Apprentice of the Year – Stage 1

Qualification: Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology

Host Business: South32-GEMCO

Loretta is an Indigenous woman from Wonthaggi Victoria.  After completing Year 12 in Wonthaggi, she travelled to Jerilderie, a country town in NSW, looking for work. She worked as a farm hand on wheat, canola and rice farms as well as a cattle and sheep and her work included driving tractors.

Loretta realised she enjoyed carrying out basic maintenance on tractors and farm utilities and larger equipment. This fired up an interest in mechanics and a desire to find an apprenticeship which would allow her to follow and develop this passion.

After travelling to Darwin with her partner, she started searching for the right apprenticeship. After a year she successfully gained an apprenticeship on Groote Eylandt working for South32, GEMCO.

“The challenges of FIFO work in a male dominated industry have increased my confidence and strengthened my resolve to complete this apprenticeship leading to a future career.”

What impact did your studies/work have on your life?

This training path has provided me with an opportunity to develop skills in a field of work which I am passionate about with valuable on the job training as well as formal training. It has introduced me to knowledgeable teachers in a supportive learning environment. As a result of this opportunity, I have a positive career path and opportunity to further develop skills in my areas of interest.

Both the technical and personal skills I have developed in this apprenticeship will provide valuable employment opportunities and I can look forward to a bright future. I am developing confidence and maturity in a safe and supportive environment.

This career and learning pathway is ideal for me. I have been supported by qualified trainers at trade school all while earning a liveable wage. I encourage friends with a similar interest to follow through with an apprenticeship.

I enjoy my training - not only learning new and valuable skills but learning from and being exposed to experienced people from a range of backgrounds and across a number of different trades such as mechanics, auto electricians and boilermakers.

My training has been inclusive, supportive and technically educational and focussed. It has helped develop my personal skills and as a result my confidence.

Fun Fact!

In my high school years, I represented Victoria in the Imparja Cricket Cup in Alice Springs over three years. This represented a significant development in team membership and work.