The young women taking on male-dominated trade subjects at Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College Burwood hope to inspire others to follow their dreams this International Women’s Day.
Catherine Robinson, 15, is one of many at the College – a Catholic co-educational Trade Training Centre for Year 11 and Year 12 students – continuing to break down the barriers to pursue careers in traditionally male dominated professions. The Year 11 student is currently enrolled in an Automotive Services Certificate 2 course.
Catherine’s passion for cars started at an early age. “My dad has always been into cars and I’ve spent many hours with him working under the bonnet,” she said. “At the moment we’re working on restoring a motorbike.”
Automotive Services Learning Facilitator George Frangioudakis said Catherine was showing the boys enrolled in the course that girls can do the job just as well. “Catherine is an impressive student,” he said. “She is demonstrating a very professional work ethic and passion for the automotive industry.”
Students at Southern Cross College typically undertake three vocational courses while successfully completing their HSC.
As well as Automotive Services, Catherine is enrolled in Construction and Business Services Certificate courses at the College. She’s also hoping to start a school-based traineeship in a Marrickville workshop following a job trial in March as part of the College’s Work Placement program.
Catherine said the thought of doing a more traditional female profession never entered her mind. “Girls should follow their dreams no matter what,” she said. “Ideally I want to end up as an auto technician running my own workshop. Hopefully in five years girls won’t be the minority in the workshop.”