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Our Lady of the Southern Cross College

Gemma Hartwig

Gemma Hartwig isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.

As a school-based apprentice, she worked five days each month during Year 11 and 12 as part of a Certificate III in Engineering (Diesel Fitting).

‘My family owned a cattle stud so I spent weekends breaking in cattle, travelling to shows and working with farm machinery,’ Gemma said.

‘I love being able to get in and get dirty, and fixing things is incredibly rewarding.

‘The school-based apprenticeship gave me the comfort of knowing I had a job and an apprenticeship once I’d graduated.

‘I’m also very creative and loved Art at school, so it allowed me to incorporate welding into my art projects.’

While Gemma’s artistic efforts didn’t win her accolades, her passion for diesel fitting did.

In 2014, she was named Queensland’s School-Based Apprentice of the Year.

Now that she has completed her apprenticeship and moved into a new job, Gemma wants to use her success and experience to help others.

‘I’m starting my own business called SHECAN, to support women in male-dominated industries,’ she said.

‘I’ve faced a lot of challenges, but they’ve been valuable lessons and given me a passion for supporting other girls in the industry.

‘I’d love to travel and educate young women and businesses about workplace equality.

‘I want to show girls that they can achieve anything.’

Subjects: English, Furnishing Studies, Maths A, Religion & Ethics, Short Course in Career Development, Visual Art Studies, Certificate III in Engineering —Mechanical Trade.
Career goal: Build my business educating young women about the industry

Last updated: 08-May-2017