Over the last 40 years, TasTAFE has trained more than 200 glaziers from the Northern Territory as part of a long-standing contract with the Northern Territory Government. Recently the first female glaziers trained under the program completed their Certificate III in Glass and Glazing.
For the past four years, Holley Krollig (pictured) and Thea Roach from Alice Springs have travelled to TasTAFE’s Clarence campus twice a year to undertake block training with glazing teachers Colin Lush (pictured with Holley), Scott Luttrell and Rod Wallace.
Thea works with her husband and brother at GGS Alice Glass and Aluminium, and Holley in her father’s business, K & S Windows.
They say the 2500km trip from Alice Springs to Hobart for training has been worthwhile.
“It’s been great – the TasTAFE teachers are really good teachers, they know what they’re talking about. If you have different ways of learning than other people then they can adapt to that and help you with different things that you need help in, so it’s really good,” Holley said.
Thea had been working with her current employer for some time but wasn’t keen to get a qualification until TasTAFE teacher, Colin Lush, convinced her.
“Originally I didn’t want to do the training but every time Colin would come up and see the boys he’d say, ‘you should do it.’ It took me five years and then he finally convinced me and it’s been great.”
Thea says the best thing about working in the glazing industry is that it’s hands-on.
“I’m a hands-on kind of person. I tried sitting in an office and I can’t do it. Glazing is as hands-on as you can get really.”
Holley agrees. “I guess I’ve always been around it and I’ve always been interested in the way that glass works and what you can do with glass. I’m hands on as well. That’s why I left school, because I couldn’t sit down for 6-8 hours a day doing paperwork. I’ve always enjoyed doing all the hand-on subjects at school rather than the theory side of things.”
Both women say they haven’t experienced any issues with being females in the industry and have had great support from their families and teachers.
“I don’t really notice. I just go out and do my work. I’m here to do my job. There aren’t really any problems with being female other than some people saying, ‘oh, I wouldn’t expect a female to be doing that,” Holley said.
Now that they are qualified glaziers, both women plan to keep working for their current employers. Holley would then like to travel, with the ultimate goal of one day being a partner or running the business.
TasTAFE has been training glaziers from the Northern territory since the 1980’s. Under the arrangement, apprentices travel to TasTAFE twice a year for two week training blocks. TasTAFE teachers also travel to the Northern Territory to assess apprentices in their workplaces and fill in any training gaps
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