Growing up with her dad working in the construction industry, Bethany took any opportunity she could to go to the job site with him. Her passion for construction grew and once she completed her schooling, she started work as a labourer. She quickly realised that she loved being on site more than anything and made the decision to put on her toolbelt full-time.
With assistance from Sarina Russo Apprenticeships, she signed up to a carpentry apprenticeship with Blue Eco Homes. Blue Eco Homes build sustainable, recycled and passive housing which appealed to Bethany. She fell even more in love with her work and has thrown herself into learning why sustainable housing is so important for the future of the construction industry.
Her favourite part of carpentry is how different every day is, the diverse nature of each task and learning about pushing out sustainable housing. She has found that some male tradesmen still believe that construction isn’t the place for women. This led her to start advocating for herself and other women in trade and starting an Instagram @chickenchippybuilds to show other women that being in a trade is a place for everyone.
Recently, Bethany was asked to join the HIA training and apprenticeship committee and the HIA building women committee which allows her to speak on issues affecting female apprentices in the industry. She has also partnered with Janelle Henson, a youth engagement officer for Sarina Russo Apprenticeships in NSW and the ACT, to promote the Women in Non-traditional Trades (WINT) campaign and present at schools to support other young women into trades.
After all her advocation and hard work in her apprenticeship, she was rewarded with a nomination for the Western Sydney 2022 Apprentice of the Year as well as a 2021 Carpentry Achievement Award which she ended up winning!
Bethany has some words of wisdom for other women wanting an apprenticeship – “If a trade is what you want, get it. Do not let fear get in your way. Push for it every day.”
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