Louise Azzopardi is a qualified Heavy Vehicle Mechanic, who has evolved her career into a Trainer, Assessor, Mentor and Ambassador. We spent some time talking to her to walk through her incredible journey so far.
Louise – tell us about your background and your influences
Growing up I rode and raced dirt bikes, so I wanted to become a motorcycle mechanic. I knew I didn’t want to continue on to Years 11 and 12, but deciding what I did want to do was tricky as leaving school for an apprenticeship wasn’t encouraged. It wasn’t until I attended a career expo in high school and met a first-year heavy diesel mechanic that I could see myself in that career. I did some work experience with her and fell in love with the trade. I defied suggestions from people around me, persisting in finding an apprenticeship, which I finally secured.
Who were your greatest supporters?
My family, friends, co-workers and mentors – none of this would have been possible without their endless support.
I understand during your apprenticeship you were put forward for the WorldSkills Competition?
WorldSkills is a world-renown competition of about 60 different industry types. The stages of the competition are regional, national and international. I came second in regionals, and then progressed to be the first-ever female heavy-vehicle mechanic competing at nationals.
At nationals level, I really wanted to win, so for the six months leading into the competition I studied hard. With that hard work I was placed first at Nationals and was the first female heavy vehicle mechanic to win nationals and go on to represent Australia.
Above: Louise participating in WorldSkills Competition
Tell us more about your career development
I continued in the trade for the same employer on Heavy Vehicles. Later I pursued an opportunity to work on plant machinery. I thoroughly enjoying working on tractors and other plant equipment.
I’ve always been passionate about supporting apprentices and giving back to the industry, so I moved on to a new stage in my career. I now work for an organisation that provides mentoring and support to apprentices. This change and new career has truly been valuable, because I can draw on my career, my experiences, in order to support future automotive industry workers.
Have you any words of advice for up and coming automotive tradeswomen?
I hope my efforts will inspire other women to pursue apprenticeships and strive to be the best tradie they can be. Being able to see the progress that I’ve made from when I first started and didn’t know much about cars, to now where I’m confident enough to train others, is something I am really proud of. My trade has opened up so many opportunities for me, some I never would have imagined possible. That is defiantly what I love the most about my career.
We thank Louise for her time in talking to us, and hope her journey inspires you to enter or continue in your field. You can read more about Louise’s journey through her blogs – https://louiseazzopardi.com/.
Subscribe to Tradeswomen Australia today to read more inspirational tradeswomen stories from an array of fields, or contact us to find out how you can be supported in your journey! – https://linktr.ee/twaustralia.