Teacher, Painting and Decorating
TAFE NSW - Illawarra Institute
What does it take to become a tradeswoman? Most tradeswomen I know would say that you need to be good with your hands, don’t mind getting dirty when you’re working and be very, very determined to persevere! A good sense of humor doesn’t go amiss either. If you had told me that I was going to become a tradeswoman when I was 18 years old I would have laughed in your face and I definitely wasn’t going to be a teacher……and what am I now? A Painter and Decorator and a trade TAFE teacher and I love it.
My skill was I could watch someone do something with their hands and I could repeat it. I always liked hands-on subjects like ceramics and art and I liked making things but it wasn’t a direct path to becoming a tradeswoman. I had to have five children and a divorce before that happened. When I met my second husband Pete, he went from supporting himself to supporting seven of us and he needed help. I have never been afraid of physical work and so it made sense that as soon as my youngest children were in pre-school I started to help him out. I enjoyed the work and I found a trade that I liked – I had always done the painting and decorating at home before meeting Pete anyway and the rest is history.
Painting and Decorating is physical work, you have to do a lot of preparation which is physically tiring and dirty. You need to work off ladders and rolling ceilings takes its toll on your neck but I love seeing the end result of all the work I have done. I love transforming a room or a house and using colours and paint to change things from old and daggy to fresh and new. At the end of the day I can look back at what I’ve done and see the result of all the hard work and it is a satisfying feeling.