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Petroleum Australia has welcomed Ellie Wotherspoon, an Electrical and Instrumentation apprentice, to the APU family in Western Australia.

With the support of BHP’s Female Pathway to Industry Program and the Programmed National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS) apprenticeship pathway, Ellie is learning first-hand the dynamic nature of the Australian oil and gas industry.

“My first site visit was to the Macedon Gas Plant where I witnessed the workings of an industrial gas processing facility first-hand,” Ellie said.    

“I find the electrical-instrumentation field really interesting, and my time at Macedon has shown me how diverse the instrument and electrical field really is.

“I learned that dissimilar metals in a thermocouple can generate a voltage, which can be converted to a real-time reading of temperature.”

Ellie has completed a Certificate III in Process Manufacturing, a Certificate II in Process Operations and she is now completing her Certificate III Electrical and Certificate IV Instrumentation via the NETTS Program in Munster, which contains a fully functional oil and gas processing facility with electrical instruments.

As part of her learning, Ellie joined the Macedon team’s domestic gas plant operations and Superintendent Production Macedon Operations, Gary Mitchell said that Ellie is a great addition to the team. “It’s fantastic to see BHP investing in talented young people,” Gary said.

“Ellie is the first apprentice at Macedon and it’s a privilege teaching her about the work we do here at our operations.

“I believe she will go a long way with the support and learning opportunities we can provide throughout her apprenticeship.”

Now in her second year of a four-year apprenticeship, Ellie is excited for the year ahead.

“I really enjoy life on-site and learning from tradespeople,” Ellie said.

“In my first year, I had the opportunity to soak up such a diverse and interesting range of experience, and I really love the hands-on style of learning that accompanies this apprenticeship as I’m able to apply the theoretical knowledge learned in the classroom, to real life situations on-site.”

Ellie will have the following qualifications once her apprenticeship is complete:

  1. TAFE Qualifications: ACEPT TAFE Munster

  2. Certificate III Industrial Electrical

  3. Certificate IV Instrumentation

  4. Cert II Process Plant Operations

In a note to other aspiring young females looking to a career in the mining sector, Ellie says: “Go for it. If you like hands on learning, solving problems and experiencing new things, then an apprenticeship may be for you. If a chance to pursue an apprenticeship comes your way, don’t let it pass by!”

All the best in 2021 Ellie – it’s great to have you part of the APU family in Western Australia!

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