Starting at university by studying engineering, Chaz Goudling found she loved the practical aspects of the course, but not the theory. A friend mentioned to her that vocational education and training might better suit her skills and method of learning, and she hasn't looked back since.
Chaz began by completing a pre-apprenticeship course at the TAFE Queensland Bracken Ridge Training Centre. She finished at the top of her class and was offered an apprenticeship straight away. Unfortunately, injuries from a motorbike accident meant she could not walk for three months. However, the employer waited for her, she excelled in the workplace, and then went on to help her younger colleagues as they came through.
In the second year of her apprenticeship, Chaz competed in a WorldSkills regional competition where she came second, and has since returned to the competition as a judge at the 2016 regional and national competitions.
While Chaz loves the hands-on aspect of the trade, she is also fascinated by the behind-the-scenes concepts and figuring out how things work. According to Chaz, “being an electrician is awesome. It keeps you on your toes and beats everything I was doing at uni—I just find it so rewarding."
Even when she was doing her pre-apprenticeship, she knew then that she wanted to come back as a teacher to give back to her industry.
"All the teachers knew this, so when I made contact again they kept me in mind for any opportunities. I’m very passionate about helping out my fellow tradies. As an apprentice I tutored my peers, during WorldSkills I mentored competitors, and now as a teacher I feel compelled to promote and foster the industry’s future."
For anyone considering a trade career, especially women, she has some great advice.
“I’d like to say to women considering a trade – give it a go. Don’t let anyone else’s perception of what it’s like or what you can or can’t do, hold you back. You have to get in there and get your hands dirty. Try it – it could be something you’re really good at. I love the practicality of it and I think an eye for detail comes naturally to women. It’s so