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Heavy vehicle mechanical technology offers a world of opportunities for women

Published: 15 Mar 2021


Three young and determined heavy vehicle mechanical technology apprentices are excelling in their chosen field. Emma Tangye, Rachael Heufel and Susan Towers agree their experience working in the industry, mostly alongside men, has been rewarding.

Susan is a first-year apprentice whose work experience last year led to a job with Asset Construction Hire. She works on boom and scissor lifts and heavy diesel vehicles, and she describes her experience enthusiastically saying, "I'm loving every minute of it!"

Like Susan, Rachael is also studying a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology (AUR31116) and works with Southern Truck Centre in Queanbeyan. She is building her experience both at work and through hands on training at CIT. "Eventually I want to become a manager within the trade or even start my own workshop one day. I'm working my way up," Rachael said.

Emma works as a fleet mechanic for the Snowy Monaro Hydro maintaining and repairing chainsaws, excavators, graders and rollers and is studying a second qualification, Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology (AUR31216). Emma is living her dream and encourages other women to follow theirs. "Don't let anyone hold you back because you're a female," she said.

Consensus among the three driven apprentices is that their greatest challenge is physical strength, but they see their gender as an advantage that, combined with their skill set, allows them to make a stand-out contribution in the workplace. "We're great at diagnostic analysis and have the attention to detail to put pieces together the right way without rushing," Emma said.

All three see a bright future in the industry, and feel they are fully supported at their workplaces and at CIT. "Times have changed. The guys are helpful and supportive," Rachael said. "I've found a good support network," Susan added.