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Georgie's exploring new territory as an electrician apprentice

This article appears in: Changing careers, TAFE, Trades
Alice Springs apprentice electrician Georgie

Before she became an award-winning electrician apprentice in Alice Springs, Georgie was living in bustling Melbourne and working in the arts. Georgie couldn’t be happier with her new life in the Territory, challenging herself with new skills and a whole new profession.

“I was actually working at two universities in Melbourne teaching sculpture and coordinating stagecraft before returning to study,” Georgie says.

While working on a sculptural installation for an artist that required some motors to be modified, Georgie had an encounter that would spark an idea for a new career.

“The electrician I was working with blew my mind, and I guess a seed was planted,” she says.

As much as I loved my previous career in the arts, I was really looking for a job more challenging.

"The decision to become an electrician didn’t take long after that!”

Exploring new territory

Electrician apprentice Georgie at work

Georgie decided to move to the Northern Territory, where Charles Darwin University was the perfect training provider for completing her Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician.

The qualification offers a balance of on-the-job training with GTNT, hosted by Power and Water, as well as time spent at the CDU Alice Springs campus trade school.

The Northern Territory has a lot of opportunities, and a lot of help to access opportunities too, particularly in trade industries.

Georgie found school difficult in her youth, so heading back to the classroom meant facing that fear head-on.

“It had been 15 years, maybe more, since my last maths class. I actually had forgotten how much I enjoy maths and the feeling of achievement when you finish a long equation and get a tough question correct.”

“And just learning new things, and very useful things too!”

Georgie now loves having a space to “geek out” and learn about things like vector groups and plotting phasor diagrams (which she promises “sounds much more complex than it is!”).

Advice for future apprentices

As someone right in the thick of apprenticeship life, Georgie has plenty of wise words for anyone considering one.

Firstly, trust your gut and take the plunge.

“If you know what you want to do, do it. Don’t wait, just go with it.”

Secondly, find an employer who values your education.

“I am very lucky to be with Power and Water—they understand the apprentice pathway can be tricky for those undertaking it, but they provide you with as much space and training as they can to help,” she says.

Lastly, take advantage of all the support available at CDU.

Georgie says she was diagnosed with dyslexia much later in life, after much of her formal education was already completed.

It really helps knowing my strengths and weaknesses because CDU can offer me the support I need to help in my weaker areas, such as comprehension and writing.

“Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know or need help,” she adds.  

For now, Georgie is happy using her Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician as a solid foundation for further study in her fascinating new field.

“I really want to dive further into the more complex parts of the industry I am currently working in.”

Georgie was recognised as Outstanding Apprentice of the Year Stage 1 at the 2023 GTNT Group Training Awards.

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