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Keynote Award winner “one to watch”, say judges

Wednesday, 10th July 2019

Apprentice Flora Rivers is set to share her inspiring story at the upcoming Women in Trades conference after she was awarded the Mitre 10 Trade Keynote Award.

Flora Rivers of Johnstone Construction wowed the judges with her great attitude to life as a woman working in a non-traditional industry and her inspiring goals for the future. As part of her prize, Flora will work with a professional public speaking coach from Speechmarks to craft and develop her speech and public speaking skills so that she can deliver a memorable keynote speech at the WIT 2019 Conference in August.

The judges were impressed by Flora, saying she is “…one to watch, a role model in many aspects of her life and someone who is very grounded but has worked hard and deserves recognition!”

It was her sense of humour that stood out and is sure to help her out when things get challenging. When asked what she enjoys about her job she said: “Having the ability to motivate even the laziest lad on site because they don’t like being shown up by a girl. I love hard work that may literally involve getting my hands and clothes dirty and that should be okay.”

General Manager Mitre 10 Trade Derek Heard is impressed with the growing interest from women wanting to enter trades, saying “there are fantastic opportunities for women in the trades, and the industry absolutely benefits from having a more diverse workforce. A career in trades is not something women have traditionally considered or thought feasible, and this award seeks to change that. We have got to keep hearing and sharing stories like Flora’s, that tell of the challenges but also the huge rewards of women working in the trades. From what I’ve heard of Flora’s story so far, I’m really looking forward to hearing her keynote address and I’m sure many others are too.”

Flora is currently working on her Level 4 Carpentry qualification through BCITO as she learns the hands-on aspects of the construction world in her role as an Apprentice Carpenter at Johnstone Construction. Managing Director, Hugh Johnstone, is proud of how quickly Flora has settled into life on the tools and become an invaluable member of the JCL team;

“We searched for 3 years to find a woman to take on an apprenticeship with us and the wait was worth it. Flora has proven that jobs really do have no gender as she has taken her role and run with it, she is always looking for ways to challenge and extend herself. We are so proud that she now has the opportunity to inspire other women to consider a career in trades,” said Hugh Johnstone.

Flora is not just working toward her carpentry qualification but is also undertaking papers in Construction Management and Engineering, all to help her toward her long-term goal of working on construction projects in the Pacific for the UNDP.

The judges for the award included Pip Buunk, 2018 Winner of the Mitre 10 Trade Keynote Award and Driller at Fulton Hogan, Daimler Teves, Trade Marketing Manager at Mitre 10 Trade, Diana Thomson, Public Speaking Coach at Speechmarks, and Riripeti Reedy, Senior Advisor at Ministry for Women. 

If you’d like to find out more about Women in Trade, go to: www.womenintradesnz.com 

About the Mitre 10 Trade Keynote Award:

The Mitre 10 Trade Keynote Award is open to all tradeswomen at any stage of their career to enter. The winner receives one on one professional coaching with Diana Thomson of Speechmarks to craft a powerful presentation about their journey and learn public speaking and presentation skills. The winner then gives the keynote speech at the annual Women in Trades conference held at Proclima Hub, Auckland in August. To find out more about this wonderful event visit the event page.