Opening doors

A TAFE-trained female locksmith is capturing attention in what's traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

Melanie Greenwood, 22, didn't grow up dreaming of being a locksmith. Her "aha" moment came when she accidentally locked herself out of her apartment and was staggered at the $150 cost of engaging a locksmith. That was when she decided it could be a career path for her.

The clincher was successfully applying for a locksmith apprenticeship.

Greenwood studied for four years at Sydney TAFE's Ultimo Campus, the only woman in a class of 17 men. At the same time she was working for a locksmith in her local area on Sydney's Northern Beaches. Now she's finally fulfilled her four year dream of establishing her own business.

Called Lady Lockey, Greenwood decided to capitalise on the fact that she's a female locksmith, instead of trying to blend in with all the blokes. "I have a pink drill and a pink screwdriver," she said.

She admits that many customers are still surprised at the idea of a female locksmith.

"When I was in the shop I would get people who'd say 'Where's the locksmith?'. I would say 'you're looking at him'."

Greenwood has been so enamoured by her experience that she actively encourages other women to follow her into other male-dominated industries."Girls can do whatever a guy can do," she said proudly.