11:41 AM, 02 Mar 2022

Finalist: 2022 GTNT Group Awards – - Most Outstanding Apprentice of the Year – Stage 1

Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade

Host Business: South32 - GEMCO

Evangelene chose this course after grappling with her discontent working in the hospitality industry. Directly after finishing high school, she studied a Bachelor of Law/Arts for three years - completing units through sheer force of will and without any passion.

When Evangelene left university, she bought a van with her savings and travelled by herself around Australia. She ended in Darwin and studied a Certificate II in Horticulture and Conservation, and Land Management at Charles Darwin University in 2020. Working towards these certificates helped her realise a love for physical labour and how much better she functioned in Higher Education with in-person training rather than online. Knowing this, Evangelene began applying for apprenticeships and was successful for a Mechanical Fitter Apprenticeship at GEMCO.

“I encourage all my friends, particularly my female friends, to do a trade if they're feeling 'stuck' like I was. I don't think it's an option that's often pitched to us, and I'm glad to see that changing.”

What impact did your studies/work have on your life?

The best part about my training at GEMCO is the positivity and open communication with which tradespeople approach teaching. The people that teach me love their work, are passionate about their work, and are highly skilled at their work.

I’m a more confident, stable and happy person now compared to when I started my job. Especially as a woman, I feel like having this door open for me has made me more self-reliant and independent in a way that can’t be underestimated. For the first time in my adult working life, I feel like I fit in and enjoy my work. The culture at South32 is very positive and friendly and I’ve been supported by not just my immediate co-workers but also those in adjacent departments who have made a real effort to help me feel at home.

Fun fact!

I was elected as a student representative for Arts three years running while at university; this role included engagement with faculty, incident mitigation and mediation and event planning. I provided a written student report quarterly. I was also appointed as a UON Student Ambassador that was assigned about 50 first year students to mentor during my second year. More recently, I volunteered with Territory Native Plants to learn more about top end horticulture and worked there for about a year. I helped run Sunset Soup Kitchen at Doctor’s Gully for about six months in 2019 and learned valuable time and people management skills from this endeavour.