Radmila Desic sets the benchmark for encouraging women into the construction industry.
Radmila Desic sets the benchmark for encouraging women into the construction industry.

Wanted: Chippies off the old block

THE STATE’S first registered female builder is calling for more Fraser Coast women to go into the construction industry.

“I worked with my dad, Jim Walters, when I left school at 15 and finally registered in 1970,” great-grandmother Bev Nuttall, 69, said yesterday.

“I loved every minute of my working life, including, with my husband Keith building the home we now live in. Building can be a great career for women but we need more of us to take it up.”

Local Master Builders Association general manager Rory McDonald said there were about 500 registered builders on the Fraser Coast.

“But not all are active and the inactive builders may also include some women.

“We’re certainly seeing a trend to young females entering the building and construction industry by apprenticeships, which I hope will turn into more women registering as builders in their own right.

“It would be good to have more women here working in this industry.”

Former carpenter, Radmila Desic, president of the National Association of Women in Construction QLD Chapter said some 142,000 construction trades people worked in the state’s construction industry but only 3000 were women.

“NAWIC Queensland is working hard to ensure more women consider a career in construction and get recognised for their hard work and dedication to their chosen field.

“In infrastructure alone, Queensland is investing more than $16 billion worth in civil construction projects, so there are plenty of jobs and strong earning potential.

“Many women assume working in construction means you spend your days wearing a hard hat and being on site.

“This is not the case at all. Construction industry roles extend to architecture, cartography and surveying, interior design, quantity surveying and urban and regional planning, just to name a few.

“The resources industry has caught on and now has partner shifts where the woman works days and the man nights. But in the construction industry 6am shifts are impossible for mothers who are primary care givers. We need flexibility.”

Mrs Nuttall said she spent 10 years on the tools, digging post holes and putting roofs on.

“I can proudly say I built five houses, four drive-in theatres and did many house renovations.”



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