INDUSTRY research tells us that the number of women in operational and engineering roles in the industry is low – some 3% on deck and 0.4% of engineers. But one woman is bucking the trend, having attained qualifications through TAFE NSW.

Wendy Love has been appointed as chief engineer of the MV John Cadman III having worked her way up the ranks over more than a decade. She started working in the galley on commercial vessels in Sydney Harbour.

Ms Love said, “When Cadman Cruises acquired a new vessel, I was given the opportunity to take on a senior technical role once I’d completed a Certificate III in Maritime Operations online with TAFE NSW, to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to get a Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Licence”.

“Since graduating I have been able to immediately put my practical skills and work experience into practice to maintain the diesel engines, as well as operate the electrical, auxiliary and other machinery systems onboard,” Ms Love said.

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As a middle-aged female working in the predominantly male maritime industry, Ms Love has had to work through some challenges. In 2006 she had to push to complete a General Purpose Hand course to gain the skills she needed to do the job.

Through sheer perseverance, hard work, and keeping up to date with current skills requirements, Ms Love steadily developed her career and often worked as cruise director onboard the boat managing hospitality staff.  Her leadership skills were brought to bear, managing events ranging from small groups to corporate bookings of 400 plus attendees.

Owner of “The Cadman”, Tony Elias, said, “Wendy showed an aptitude to better understand the marine engineering systems onboard and expressed an interest in developing her technical skills.

“When we acquired the new vessel, I approached Wendy to take on the newly created role of chief engineer, once she’d completed online studies with TAFE Digital to gain a Marine Engine Driver Grade 2 Licence.

“Needless to say, she jumped at the chance!”

The single mother of four has garnered the respect of her peers with her hard work and determination to climb the ranks to the position of chief engineer. She is an active participant at Commercial Vessel Association and Sydney Harbour Liquor Accord meetings.

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