Mums wear many hats … chef, chauffeur, teacher… for Puba Nandaweera, it’s often a hard hat she slips on. Puba moved from London to Melbourne when she was pregnant, looking for a part-time job in the field she loved. She landed a role as a condition monitoring engineer at a large refinery and hasn’t looked back.
What work do you do?
I’m a mechanical engineer and I look after the health of rotating equipment by analysing data.
Is it a good career for girls?
I think males and females bring different things to every industry, but more girls are needed in male-dominated fields. I’d strongly encourage girls to pursue engineering as a career – I’ve only had positive experiences in the workplace and I’ve never felt intimidated or scared.
How did you get started?
For my careers project in year 9, I interviewed a male mechanical engineer who was working on CityLink. He was inspiring and supported girls following a career in the field. In year 10, I attended a ‘Girls in Engineering’ Camp at Deakin University. And I always had positive role models like my father, who was a mechanic. He told me that knowledge is the only thing that cannot be taken away from you, so study hard while you can.