When Nicole Pace took an administrative role with Hydro Tasmania several years ago she didn’t quite envisage 7.00am starts, in minus 5 temperatures, clothed in full Personal Protective Equipment. But that’s what Nicole’s current role as a site administrator involves and she’s taken to the change like a duck to water.
“When I first came to Hydro Tasmania as an HR administrator I used to be a dresses-and-heels person but now I’m involved in the power generation side it’s helmet, safety glasses and boots. I’m loving the hands-on nature of the work and it’s fascinating to be involved in the operational side of the business,” she said.
Nicole has risen quickly through the ranks of Hydro Tasmania. Her aptitude and work ethic in HR administration caught the eye of her Manager and Chief Technical Officer and she was encouraged to undertake vocational education and training (VET) to further her career.
She has now completed a Certificate IV in Business and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment through Learning Partners in Launceston. As a high achieving student, she also caught the eyes of the judges of the Vocational Student of the Year Award, winning the state title in 2015 and representing Tasmania as a finalist in the Australian Training Awards the same year.
“Winning the state award gave me a great boost and made me realise there was a lot more I could do,” said Nicole. “Now I’m looking at becoming more involved in project and site management and leadership roles. As a proud member of the VET Alumni I also want to play my part in helping others achieve and now I’m in a great position to do that with my training and assessment qualifications.”
Nicole’s responsibilities range from organising transport, supplies and procurement; conducting contractor and worker inductions and training; and project forecasting and scheduling. “It’s my job to make sure things run on time and to deal with the unexpected. You need to be on the front foot and flexible because not everything goes as planned,” she said.
“Looking back on my career, I’d have to say that also hasn’t exactly gone as planned—but in the best way,” laughed Nicole. “A couple of years ago I would never have had the confidence to take on a site role and mix it with the guys. It’s very reassuring to know what I’m capable of and I have VET to thank for being the big driver of my success.”
Book a VET Alumni member
To invite Nicole to share her success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.