Breaking through the Barriers

Posted on Nov 18, 2021

Meet our 2021 ABBTF Ambassadors!

Bricklaying is an in-demand trade with numerous job opportunities. In recent years we are seeing a greater uptake of these opportunities by women. We’re excited to see more and more women choosing to enter the workforce within the construction industry. Not only are they carving a pathway for themselves, they are also great role models for the next generation. Most bricklayers start out as apprentices, learning on the job from a qualified professional. Many people who start out as bricklayers choose to build upon their skills and further their careers.

In this blog, we are featuring two such talented females who decided to enter this pre-dominantly male industry and make a mark.

This year we launched our ambassadors, and they symbolise “the art of the possible” and the career pathways to get there by reflecting on their own journeys! Our 2021 Ambassador team has 6 ambassadors, including 2 females, Monique Juratovac and Chelsea Whelan who represent the bricklaying industry. Both of these ambassadors are great examples of women in bricklaying and they are great believers that women should give it a go and consider bricklaying as a career choice.

Hear from Monique Juratovac and Chelsea Whelan and learn how and why they decided to enter the construction industry.

Monique Juratovac – Apprentice Bricklayer – WA

Bricklaying was not the career path Monique Juratovac saw for herself when she was younger . The 22-year-old from WA initially completed a three-year hairdressing apprenticeship, but after a year working in the industry, knew it wasn’t for her. She decided to try out bricklaying – and fell in love with it from day one. Monique is a strong believer of finding what makes you happy and going for it.

While searching for a new calling, Monique decided to do a trial run with a bricklaying family friend – and she hasn’t looked back since.

It’s a trade where she gets to work outside, be hands-on, and still harness that creativity and eye for detail that initially led her to hairdressing.
We are sure Monique has and will inspire many women to join the industry! You go girl, sky is the limit.

Interview with Bricklaying Competitor Monique Juratovac | 2021 WorldSkills Australia National Championships

National Skills Week – Building your career brick by brick – Session 1


Chelsea Whelan – Qualified Bricklayer – TAS

Chelsea is the first woman in Tasmania to take on and complete her bricklaying apprenticeship, who says “it’s exactly the same as any other bloke going for the job,” Chelsea decided to follow in her father and grandfather’s footsteps, both were  bricklayers.

Chelsea loves to see the results of her work – [“I built that” sitting back when I’ve finished and be like, hell yeah, I finished that, I did that whole thing! Satisfying to know I am capable of that kind of thing.”]

Chelsea’s advice to students and school leavers looking at getting into a bricklaying apprenticeship –
“you don’t know if you’ll like it or if you can do it until you try it! You can be thin and still give your hardest and be just as good as the blokes or someone with massive muscles. Be persistent at it and give it a good crack.”

A few years back construction was not an option or even discussed at school for females, we have seen a major shift recently.

ABBTF strongly advocates that a trade career choice is a viable choice for both men and women. Women wanting to become a bricklayer, but are worn down by the age old ‘you can’t do it because you’re a girl’ from family or friends, it is time to break theses myths. Surely as an industry we want to grow construction into the future and what better way to do that than to accept both men and women as tradespeople.
With more young workers like Monique and Chelsea entering the industry, the future looks promising!

Enjoy being outdoors, like working with your hands and love seeing the end results – consider a career in the bricklaying industry, we’d love to hear from you. For more information, get in touch with us