Jessica powering ahead with career

TOP APPRENTICE: Jessica Wust, with HR Specialist Kim Palmer and her mother Debra, has been awarded runner-up in the Trade category of the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) annual Resources Awards for Women.
TOP APPRENTICE: Jessica Wust, with HR Specialist Kim Palmer and her mother Debra, has been awarded runner-up in the Trade category of the Queensland Resources Council’s (QRC) annual Resources Awards for Women.

SHE may not be your typical automotive electrical apprentice but there is more to Jessica Wust than meets the eye.

The Callide Mine apprentice was awarded runner-up in the trade category of the Queensland Resources Council's annual Resources Awards for Women last week.

The awards were run in partnership with the voluntary networking group Women in Mining and Resources Queensland.

Jessica made her way down to Brisbane with her mum to be presented her award.

"It was pretty unexpected," Jessica said.

Jessica said her employer Anglo Coal nominated her for the award.

"One of the ladies in HR called me down to the office and asked if they could nominate me.

"I didn't think much of it and then I got the call to say I received runner-up.

"I never thought I would get it, especially because I am still an apprentice."

The fourth year apprentice said she didn't come across any prejudice being a female in a male-dominated industry.

"The attitude is really good," Jessica said.

"I look at it like a family out there. I look at most of them as older brothers."

Jessica left school in Year 11 in search of a hands-on career.

"I think a lot of girls are interested but they worry about it," she said.

"But the mines, especially at the moment, want to even out their male to female ratios."

Jessica often goes to career days with her employer and speaks with students thinking about a similar career. Being recognised as a standout apprentice isn't unfamiliar for Jessica. In 2009 she was AMWU apprentice of the year and in 2009 and 2011 she was awarded the Callide Mine Development Award.

To add to her achievements this year, Jessica will also be shaving her hair on Friday for Shave for a Cure at the Twin Valleys Motorcycle club.

Moura State High School student, Tara Ogden, was also awarded highly commended in the junior category.

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