Competitor Spotlight: Melinda Lethbridge

If drive and determination are indicators of success, then apprentice CNC machine setter / programmer Melinda Lethbridge is a force to be reckoned with.

Hailing from Croydon, the 23 year old fitness buff has her father to thank for her introduction to her trade. “My dad introduced me to the industry, but it was the tradespeople I worked with during my work experience in Year 10 that encouraged me to pursue this career,” says Melinda.

“I didn’t consider a trade until half way through my VCE when I realised hands-on training suited me better than tertiary education, and I saw a job there that would excite me day in and day out.” Having recently completed the Certificate III in Engineering (Mechanical Trade) at Swinburne University, Melinda now works at Hargo Engineering. After her apprenticeship, Melinda hopes to gain overseas work experience and act as a mentor to other young apprentices.

Melinda already started earning a name for herself as an apprentice, having gathered an impressive collection of awards including being named Australian Apprentice of the Year at the 2014 Australian Training Awards and being selected as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador. Melinda is also no stranger to WorldSkills Australia, having competed at the 2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Perth and placing 6th. Not one to settle, Melinda has trained hard since and wowed the judges once again in 2015 at the Regional Competition, winning a gold medal.

“It was heaps of fun but a tough day of competition! A few things caused me trouble on the day, but the best feeling – a huge relief – was getting to the end and having all the parts fit together!”

Now, Melinda is working hard for her shot at glory at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne. She is determined to succeed and plans to leave no stone unturned as she prepares for the challenge.

“It’s a huge honour to represent my region in the National Competition. I hope to do everyone who is supporting me in this journey proud by training hard, leaving no stone unturned in my preparation and taking all of my experience to the competition.”

Melinda is just one of over 500 young apprentices, trainees and students preparing for their shot at greatness at the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne this October. Click here to register for your FREE tickets.