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Top TAFE NSW mechanic shows the guys how it’s done

TAFE NSW Wollongbar

Top TAFE NSW mechanic shows the guys how it’s done

TAFE NSW career-changer Ricci Goldberg has won a Bert Evans Scholarship in recognition of her impressive skills in the automotive mechanic industry.

After working for a long time in the hospitality industry and having a family, starting again at 35 in an automotive mechanics apprenticeship took courage. She’s bucking the trend in the male-dominated automotive mechanics industry where only one per cent of workers are female[1].

“I had been an assistant manager at a bottle shop for such a long time, 14 years in the industry, and I was so comfortable, but what interested me when I was in high school were mechanics and teaching.”

Ricci made the leap to study a Certificate III Automotive Mechanics at TAFE NSW Wollongbar at a time when there’s a huge market for Automotive Electricians and Mechanics in NSW—the highest demand in the country alongside Victoria.[2]

“At my age, 36, and as a mother of a 13-, 11-, and five-year-old, being an apprentice, paying bills and coming from what I had been doing, is a big difference.”

“There were a lot of times right at the beginning that were emotionally quite stressful, and I wondered if I was making the right decision, but I’m really happy I’ve stuck with it, not just in mechanics, but in ways of thinking—it’s really opened a whole new world for me.”

“Now, if my fridge broke down, I could think of ways to fix it. So, it’s something that I’ll be able to use my whole life.”

For Ricci the big change has come alongside the recognition of her trade skills, winning $15,000 over three years through a Bert Evans Scholarship.

“I applied for the scholarship back in March, and then about a week-and-a-half ago I got a phone call saying that I had been successful, which was huge. I almost felt like I had won the lotto; it was really exciting.”

“It will support my learning to complete my TAFE NSW training, allow me to buy tools and equipment, provide an extra incentive to work hard, and make a difference for my financial stability.” 

“Ricci is a great student, pursuing a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanics, working at MyCar Ballina, and doing it all with an incontestable certificate of her outstanding ability via her Bert Evans scholarship,” Brett Farmer, Teacher Automotive Trades, TAFE NSW Wollongbar campus, said.

Media contact: Reuben Fourt-Wells, Communications Specialist TAFE NSW,, 0451 275 549.

[1] Motor Mechanics | Labour Market Insights

[2] Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers | National Skills Commission