Building's not just for boys

Shaelee Drummond and Lisa O’Malley with their QSC Judges’ Outstanding Achievement Awards in Brisbane.
Shaelee Drummond and Lisa O’Malley with their QSC Judges’ Outstanding Achievement Awards in Brisbane.

SHAELEE Drummond is only too happy to keep proving everyone else wrong. The Year 11 Blackwater State School student said she was determined to succeed in what most believe is the 'man's world' of the construction industry.

The dedicated student recently received her just rewards after being nominated and placing in the state's top three for the prestigious Construction School Student of the Year Award at the Construction Skills Qld Training Excellence Awards 2011 in Brisbane.

While Shaelee narrowly missed winning that award, she managed to pick up the final and most prestigious prize of the night in the Judges' Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Shaelee was joined by BSS Senior School head of department Lisa O'Malley, who was equally honoured alongside the student she coaxed into taking a structured work placement at the Curragh Housing program.

"Ms O'Malley came up to me one day and told me about the Currah Housing program, and I was really interested because that's what I want to do," Shaelee said.

"She signed me up along with 11 others and I was the only one from the school who stuck through it all.

"After I finished the program she came and told me about the student of the year construction awards, and then asked if I wanted to nominate myself.

Shaelee and Ms O'Malley travelled to Brisbane to face a gruelling hour-long interview in which Shaelee was required to present her case for the award.

The two were honoured in front of 1200 others at a formal black tie ceremony on November 11.

"I want to be a carpenter," Shaelee said.

"I went and asked my furnishings teacher if I could join his class and he wasn't sure, but I said 'just give me one week - one week to prove that I can do it', so he gave me a shot and he kept me for two-and-a-half years.

"I've got family members that are builders, and even they say it's a boy's job, but I just told them 'whatever, one day I'll be awesome at it'."

Ms O'Malley said she felt the shared award between her and Shaelee also belonged to Dan Connelly from Curragh, who mentored the student, and Bloomers, who were the contractors working on site during her placement.

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