Whitehaven tradie wins prestigious scholarship

One of Whitehaven’s first year electrical apprentices, Georgia Foley, has been awarded the Bert Evans Scholarship which recognises a female apprentice in a non-traditional trade for women.

Pictured is Georgia with Whitehaven’s Aron Cane, HVTC field officer Paul Briscoe and Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson.

The original Northern Daily Leader article can be found here

By Jamieson Murphy

A YOUNG Gunnedah apprentice is part of a growing number of females breaking into careers traditionally dominated by men.

First-year Whitehaven electrical apprentice Georgia Foley was recently awarded the Bert Evans Scholarship, which recognises a female apprentice in a non-traditional trade for women.

Ms Foley told The Leader she was “shocked” and “very excited” to win the scholarship, which awards $5000 each year for three years.

“I felt like I had won the lottery,” she said.

Ms Foley said she surprised everyone by deciding to pursue a career as an electrician, rather than going to university.

“I didn’t want to be stuck at a computer, I always wanted a career where I could be outside and work with tools in my hands,” she said.

“Dad’s an electrician, so I grew up learning about it. He speaks about it all the time and I always took an interest in it.”

She encouraged any women considering a career in a trade to give it a go.

“Everyone is very supportive and I don’t regret it at all, I love it already,” she said.

“It’s a great environment, I work really well with my tradies. I get along with the blokes really well and learn off them easily.

“There are a lot more women taking up trades like this, which is good to see.”

Ms Foley said she felt “very proud and fortunate” to work for Whitehaven and HTVC.

Whitehaven managing director Paul Flynn said his company worked hard to break the mould.

“Everyone at Whitehaven is very proud of Georgia for receiving this award,” Mr Flynn said.

“Whitehaven is committed to providing local jobs for local people and increasing our rates of female and indigenous workforce participation.

“More than 80 per cent of Whitehaven’s workforce live in the regions surrounding our operations and it’s great to see local people being recognised for their hard work and achievements.”

Ms Foley already has plans about how to spend her scholarship money.

“For starters, I’ll get some more tools to stay up to date – I’m looking at a couple of multi-metres,” she said.

“I’ve also looked into different courses to enhance my knowledge. I’m planning to do a Level Two in electro-technology and a few different communication cable courses.”