Apprentice mechanic Kristy McAndrew at work on a vehicle at Victory Ford at Murwillumbah.
Apprentice mechanic Kristy McAndrew at work on a vehicle at Victory Ford at Murwillumbah. Scott Powick

Grease is the word for Kristy

NINETEEN-year-old Kristy McAndrew is making waves after starting a mechanic's apprenticeship at Victory Ford in Murwillumbah.

Miss McAndrew said working as a mechanic was an obvious choice considering her long-term interest in motoring, shared with her father who is also a mechanic.

She has just completed her first week on the job.

Miss McAndrew worked at Victory Ford for a year and a half as a detailer, but said her passion was always to work with engines and start a mechanic's apprenticeship.

“I worked as a detailer here but the goal was always to work as a mechanic,” Miss McAndrew said.

“The apprenticeship came up and luckily they gave it to me.

“It'll be four years full-time.”

While mechanics has traditionally been a “man's world”, Miss McAndrew said her work environment was a positive one.

“I guess it is a male-dominated environment but I've found it to be fine – no problem at all,” she said.

“I'm not really a girly girl, I'm out doing a lot of the things the boys are.

“I've been working on cars for many years.”

Miss McAndrew's boss Adam McKinlay said it made no difference to the business that their new apprentice was a female.

“It hasn't made a difference at all that she's female – we've had a female once before a few years ago,” Mr McKinlay said.

“She's been a good worker for us, very switched on and keen to get into the apprenticeship.”

There are six male trade apprentices for every female trade apprentice in Australia and the numbers are even lower in the mechanics trade.

“Ninety-nine per cent of mechanics apprentices coming through are male – she's the third woman I've known to do one,” Mr McKinlay said.

Miss McAndrew has previously taken part in Murwillumbah racing festival Speed on Tweed, along with her parents.



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