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Scholarship winner building the path for women in construction


Scholarship winner building the path for women in construction

A TAFE NSW Ryde apprentice has been recognised for her ambition and leadership with a prestigious scholarship from the National Australian Women in Construction NSW chapter.  

Stacey Swetnam, is a landscape construction apprentice who is passionate about her industry and advocating for women in non-traditional construction roles.

“After running my own garden maintenance business for the past seven years, I was keen to take on a mature age apprenticeship with my employer, Harrison’s Landscaping, and study the Certificate III in Landscape Construction,” said Stacey.  

“Studying the apprenticeship gives me the skills and qualifications to actually build the gardens I was maintaining beforehand and I love now getting really get hands-on with the construction and creation while continuously developing my skills.

“My TAFE NSW teachers have been super supportive of me throughout my course. Their experience in the industry has helped me workshop and continually hone what areas I might specialise in and make my own.  As the only woman in my class, I found my teachers were encouraging me to make my way as a woman in this industry by showing me that my point of difference could actually be an asset.

“Having that point of difference as a female in trade is also why I started my podcast, Tradie Lady Talk, to help create a community for women tradies to help support each other through sharing experiences and platforming mental health management.

“I was so surprised and grateful to win the NAWIC scholarship, it will allow me to focus on specialist areas of my trade like design or even project management and really help me get ahead,” she said.

Paul Thompson, Head Teacher Landscape Construction at TAFE NSW Ryde said demand for skilled landscape construction workers is escalating in the sector across Australia, with a nationwide shortage and job growth predicted at 13.5% over the next five years.

 “At TAFE NSW, we are committed to supporting our students with practical skills and industry connections to help them progress in this career.  With demand for skilled landscape construction professionals increasing, it’s great to see women like Stacey take the initiative to upskill and work so hard on her own career," said Paul..

"This is a well-deserved recognition for Stacey which not only reflects her drive and determination, but also her efforts to support fellow women working in landscape construction.”  

Media contact: Melanie Pope, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,,, 0400 074 007