Former Apprentice shines on International Women’s Day

Warragamba Panorama

Former Apprentice shines on International Women’s Day

Posted on: 07.03.2018

International Women’s Day on 8 March is a great opportunity to reflect on the achievements of women, not only on a global scale but within our own communities.

Wollondilly Shire Council employs approximately 100 women, and one of them has carved a unique path for herself as part of the outdoor team.

Recently progressing from Apprentice to Area Maintenance Flyer, Rachael D’Aran spends her workdays doing everything from emptying bins, cleaning toilets, mowing, whipper-snipping, removing dead animals and cleaning graffiti from around the Shire.

Rachael was looking for a change from her job in a supermarket distribution centre a few years ago when she decided to apply for the Women in Trades program run by Council in partnership with My Gateway.

On completion of the course, she was offered a traineeship with Council’s Parks and Gardens division and started work at the Picton Botanic Gardens while studying for her Certificate III.

Rachael said, “I loved being outside in the fresh air, doing something different every day, working with a great team. In my previous job I was just a number.”

She found that despite being the only woman on the team, she fitted in really well and didn’t ever feel she was treated differently from the men she worked with.

Rachael said the biggest challenge she has faced in her career has been completing her Certificate III.

“I have trouble finishing things, so completing the Certificate was a big achievement for me,” she said.

Rachael’s advice to younger women who are just starting out in their studies and careers is to commit themselves to the process.

“Anything is achievable if you put your mind to it and don’t give up. Just keep at it and you’ll reap the rewards at the end.”

Rachael was keen to work in local government as she wanted a career where she could progress through the stages of an apprentice, to full time work and beyond.

 “It is a stable job, close to home. You don’t get many thanks, but the rewards are in seeing the good work that you’ve done.”

Rachael is a resident of the Wollondilly Shire and appreciates that there is still a rural feel.

“I like how you can feel far away from everything but still be close to beaches, the airport and the city,” she said.

Rachael’s former supervisor in the Botanic Gardens Precinct, Craig (Podge) Davies said, “Rachael is a great worker and she has a great eye for detail.”

“Her attitude was always first class and it is great to see her progress through the organisation.”