Blogs (Media Centre)

TAFE NSW ensures Maddison makes the cut as a Butcher

A former chef has swapped her tongs for a tenderiser, taking up an apprenticeship as a butcher. TAFE NSW Hamilton student, Maddison McGovern is now into her third year of her apprentice, and is one of a very few females in the trade.

The butchery trade was not a career that Maddison thought she would ever pursue, now employed by Sausage Man Toukley, she hasn’t looked back.

After the restauarnt she worked for unexpectedly closed, Maddsion’s thoughts turned straight to the butchery she regularly visited to pick up meats for the restaurant. On her visits there Maddison got to know the staff and having an inquisitve nature, she regularly asked questions about how a carcass was divided into different cuts of meat.

Maddison enrolled in the Certificate III Retail Butchery at TAFE NSW Hamilton. The training she is undertaking have enabled her to not only secure her apprenticeship, but has future-proofed her career by equipping her with in-demand skills and ensuring she is able to offer valuable advice to customers.

Studying at TAFE NSW has made Maddison feel at ease in a male dominated trade. She says “at TAFE NSW, the teachers get to know you and they take time to explain things. It is a great avenue for anyone who has a passion for something and wants to learn more.”

“I occasionally get confused or shocked looks or comments from customers but both my workplace and TAFE NSW are very supportive and have never made me feel out of place. The more people see women at the butchers station, the less surprised they’ll be.”

Women currently make up only 13 per cent of trade apprentices and trainees in NSW, with most women opting to pursue apprenticeships in female dominate trades such as hairdressing and beauty therapy.

For women who are thinking about becoming a butcher, Maddison says “Don’t be scared, just go for it, there are great teachers out there who can help you.”

And if you want to know what a butcher’s favourite type of steak is Maddison says “A good quality scotch fillet is always a winner.”

For more information on TAFE NSW courses phone 13 16 01 or visit 

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, Communications Specialist,, 02 9217 4220.