Never too late

THAT'S what a new process operator trainee at Chevron Australia just proved herself, landing her first job in the industry more than 20 years after finishing her studies.
Never too late Never too late Never too late Never too late Never too late

She did it thanks to a Women in Engineering program at the Challenger Institute of Technology.

Despite completing a Diploma of Mechanical Engineering, Ursula Hannon had to abandon her original career dream when she could not find a job, choosing instead to reinvent herself as a police officer.

After 18 years in the police, she decided to give her dream job another go.

"I enjoyed my policing career but I wanted to challenge and develop myself by studying and establishing a new career," she said.

She enrolled in Challenger's hands-on training program and gained renewed confidence in the industry as well as a helpful kick-start into employment.

For her, a highlight was training at Challenger's Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) on the simulated process plant, the only training facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

"This is an amazing program that has provided me with an insight into the energy and resources industry and provided me with the support to establish a new career," she said.

Since completing the program in 2013, Ursula has finished the first year of an engineering degree at Murdoch University and has also started a two year traineeship with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and host company Chevron.

"I'm currently doing on-the-job training at WA Oil on Barrow Island and loving it," she said.

Delivered in partnership with Chevron, the Women in Engineering program is designed to equip women with the skills and confidence needed to gain employment in the resources industry or pursue higher level engineering qualifications.

In addition to providing study scholarships for participants, Chevron supports the program by providing an opportunity for students to be linked with female mentors who serve as role models.

Challenger Institute's Women in Engineering lecturer Sew Leng Puah said the program also included a series of activities that provided women with exposure to the resources industry and also equipped them with skills that are in demand.

She said the program attracted a broad range of women, from different age groups and varied backgrounds.

"The program is for young and mature women, who have curious minds, are motivated, like to challenge themselves, and also those who are looking for a career change," she added.

Applications are now open for the next eight-week Women in Engineering program, which will start in July.

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