BRONWYN Gurney has always liked working outside and doing hands-on activities so it was no surprise she took up diesel fitting as her choice of career.
Bronwyn works as a third-year diesel fitter apprentice at Anglo Dawson Mine in Moura and was recognised on Wednesday with the GAGAL Third Year Apprentice of the Year award.
The nomination came from one of her supervisors who described Bronwyn to be "a breath of fresh air and a pleasure to work with”.
The nomination said Bronwyn was not afraid to tackle difficult jobs, was keen to learn and was interested in breakdowns, repairs and fault finding.
Bronwyn graduated from Moura State High School in 2014 when she saw the advertisement for the apprenticeship.
"I just applied and was going to see where I went,” she said.
"I have always wanted to work in an industry field and my family have supported me the whole way.”
Three years on, Bronwyn is loving diesel fitting more than she ever thought she would.
"I really enjoy it. If anything it has driven me to do more things like specialise in hydraulics,” she said.
Working in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field, Bronwyn said there were some challenges.
"Things like manual handling, but you just have to adjust things to make it work for you,” she said.
"Things that some other bloke can just crack it, and you have to work out how you can do it.
"It is just like any other industry - you can do it, it is just breaking down those challenges.”
Not only is Bronwyn passionate about what she does, she is also skilled.
Bronwyn recently competed in the World Skills Regional Competition in Bundaberg where she came second.
"It was a competition with diagnostics and fault finding,” Bronwyn said.
"It was really good. It definitely helped me build my confidence and it was good to know I can do a lot of things myself.
"I surprised myself at how much I could do and how comfortable I felt doing it.”
Bronwyn is scheduled to finish her apprenticeship next year and she said hoped to stay in the industry.
"Who knows where it will lead you? There are so many different aspects in the industry you can work in,” she said.
Bronwyn said she encouraged other women to get involved in any role in any industry they were interested in, not just diesel fitting.
"Don't be afraid to ask questions and just get in and have a go,” she said.
"Everyone has different opinions but most of the people are pretty good.
"It is what you make it.”