Just over a year into her auto-electrician apprenticeship with Broome-based Reen Auto Electrics, Billi-Joh Angus is thriving.
“I wake up and look forward to going to work, I love everything about my work. Some jobs are frustrating, but I take a breather and come back to it,” she says.
“I didn’t expect to like it this much to be honest. We all respect each other’s space and get along. There isn’t much negativity here. Respect goes both ways around here.”
Being the only female in the workshop when she first started, Angus says although she felt anxious, she was well supported by the owners from the beginning.
“It was all boys [in the workshop]. It was nerve-wracking because it’s a male-dominated industry … but there was an owner Sue here who was really welcoming. And she was happy when I started. She really looked after me.”
Trade was always the dream
Growing up, Angus envisaged herself working on the mines like her father who she looked up to. She found his work as a driller and blaster interesting, and her curiosity of the industry grew further as she became a teenager.
It was during high school that Angus’ interest in a heavy-diesel mechanical apprenticeship in the mining industry really flourished. She was about the sign a contract, but discovered the employer couldn’t take her on as she had childhood epilepsy.
This left Angus feeling deflated as she had to go back to the drawing board. Her aunty suggested she consider an electrical apprenticeship and she liked the idea. Having previously obtained a Certificate II in Automotive during school, it seemed like a good fit – and it was.
Soon after Angus began her apprenticeship, Reen Auto Electrics employed a second female apprentice from the area who also enjoys the workplace environment.
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