Makayla Harrison is determined and driven and it’s because of this she is now doing what she
loves every day.
The 26-year-old is an A Grade industrial electrician, working in the water industry.
She’s been in the field for nearly eight years having completed a four year apprenticeship, spending a year on the tools and then transitioning into her current role as an electrical technical officer.
“Through my apprenticeship, I worked on motors, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Variable Speed Drives (VSD), electrical equipment at water treatment plants and electrical equipment at wastewater treatment plants,” Makayla said.
“Currently I am an office based employee undertaking project management, electrical drafting, overseeing projects completed by local electrical contractors, designing switchboards and equipment and taking lead of projects from scoping to finalisation.”
Makayla grew up on a 40,000 acre sheep station in NSW. She moved to Mildura to go to school.
“Every chance I got I was back home at the farm helping Dad,” she said, “I just loved every bit of it.
“I knew I wanted to be hands on; I just couldn’t see myself in a shop or behind a desk.
“So that’s where it began - my passion was already behind me so from Year Nine in school, all I wanted to do was get into the workforce.
“School wasn't my strong point and I really didn't love it at all.”
Makayla did work experience every chance she got, including on Wednesdays and school holidays. She also did a Certificate Two in Electro-Technology while in high school.
It helped Makayla establish what she wanted to do in life and, after trying cabinet making, graphic design and hospitality she struck gold in the electrical field.
“My very first day was 41 degrees, pulling cables through trenches,” Makayla recalled.
“I was sick that day and everyone said to me this is the worst part of it and I was like if that’s the worst part, this is what I want to do!"
“I was so excited and absolutely loved every bit of it!”
Makayla spent every spare minute from then on working for different electricians, gaining valuable experience and knowledge.
“I did work with anyone I could, and every three to four months, I rang every electrician in the phone book to ask if they had anything".
“I dropped my resume in at every opportunity I could. It got to the point they all knew who I was when I rang!”
Finishing Year 12 Makayla’s perseverance finally paid off and she was offered two apprenticeships. She was ecstatic.
“I had people try and talk me out of a male dominated career but I am so thankful that I stuck to my heart and did it,” Makayla said.
“Designing a switchboard and seeing it built and on site working/pumping is an amazing achievement".
“It was such an amazing day when I became an A Grade electrician!"
“Through up and downs in my own life that extended my apprenticeship, it was a huge relief just that I followed my dreams and I did it!”
Makayla said she would absolutely recommend a career as an electrician to other females.
She was delighted to see her workplace employ another female electrician once she completed her apprenticeship.
“When I first started my apprenticeship it was so unheard of for a girl to be in a trade, but now there is more and more and I think it is just the best thing,” she said.
“Girls can do anything".
“We can all do anything we put our minds to".
“Don’t let people get you down or push you down; they will try and make it seem like you can’t do it - but if that’s what you want to do then you most definitely can!”
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Mildura resident and Photographer, Lauren Southwell launched Pure Beauty in late June, 2018 & is committed to helping woman feel beautiful, sexy and empowered through the art of Boudoir Photography.