Bowens - The Builders Choice

Bowens Women in Trade – Event Recap

Bowens Women in Trade Event provided an opportunity to network with like-minded people and celebrated the women that are paving the way for the next generation of trades.

With over 380 attendees, together with 5 panellists, so many empowering discussions were made about how we could strive to break the bias in the building and construction industry.

The attendees had a chance to meet an impressive line-up of influential and inspiring women, took part in our workshops and demonstrations, experienced live entertainment and enjoyed a comfortable space to sit, relax and unwind.

Find out what you missed at Bowens Women In Trade Event 2023.

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Our great lineup

Host – Monique Burns

Having joined the Association in late 2017, Monique leverages her background in business and law to provide members with commercial and astute legal advice across various matters, including contractual queries, disputes with owners and issues regarding non-payment. Specialising in Building and Construction Law, Monique takes a particular interest in providing advice on industry-related problems and is passionate about supporting members through their various projects.

MC – Bardie Somerville

Based in Victoria and better known as Bards Builds (@bards.builds), Bardie is a qualified carpenter. Bardie initially studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Art School, however, after a few years working as a labourer she discovered a newborn passion for the trade and began her career as a Carpenter. With a strong network of Instagram followers Bardie raises awareness, supports, inspires and connects women in the construction industry.

Panellist – Louise Azzopardi

Louise (@louiseazzopardicoaching) worked as a Mechanic for 7 years, becoming a field service technician and representing Australia at the world skills competition for heavy vehicle mechanics. She is now a life coach for Tradeswomen, coaching them through anxiety and sexism to help them become a more confident person. She speaks on issues that matter to the Tradeswomen community and focusses on solving these issues.

Panellist – Matt Menichelli

Matt (@elevate_building_group) is an Award winning Master Builder, 2x time winning builder on ‘The Block’ and holds leading roles on a number of high profile projects. Initially studying industrial design, Matt made the leap to carpentry and eventually started his own building company. With a proven and well-established brand, Elevate Building have tackled some landmark projects and forged solid relationships with some of Australia’s most well-respected designers and industry professionals.

Panellist – Sarah McPherson

Having joined the Bowens team 16 years ago, Sarah started pulling orders 2 days a week in the Laverton North warehouse. She eventually moved into a mix of roles from payroll and answering phones to sales and customer service 4 days a week across two stores. Sarah moved to the sales office for about 18 months but missed helping customers. Now 5 years into her current role as Customer Service Manager, she’s considered the face of North Melbourne.

The Margaret Hickey Award

The Margaret Hickey Award recognises women who have overcome the barriers of working within the building and construction industry to succeed. Bowens has continuously encouraged and empowered women by offering employment opportunities across multiple departments within the business. In homage to the success of professional women at Bowens, we have named The Margaret Hickey Award after the first woman Bowens employed in 1913.

This year’s Margaret Hickey Award winner is Helma Gash.

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