Meet Vanessa Camilleri – Certificate IV in Building and Construction and Diploma in Building and Construction


Unlike a lot of other tradies, Vanessa Camilleri doesn’t dream of building her own home one day. She’s already done it once in the past, and now she’s at it again. In the not too distant future Vanessa hopes to be building houses for other people as well.

“I just love the thought of people moving in and living in that home you built. I think that’s what really what stands out for me.”

However, even though Vanessa has twelve years’ experience setting up and running a concreting business she hasn’t been able to transition straight into carpentry. But a combination of passion and drive means that she isn’t the type to give up easily.

That’s why Vanessa has come to BAA for the certificate and diploma that will take her where she wants to be.

A Foundation of Concrete

“I started in concreting. When I walked away from that I was building my home and just loved doing that. Day in and day out, it got me out of bed and got me working. I was just happy and brighter.”

Vanessa knew what she wanted to do, but the path to construction wasn’t immediately clear. A chance meeting with a pair of site supervisors, Keith and Peter, was the lucky break she needed.

“I got talking with them and they let me shadow them. I tried to absorb as much as I could.”

Keith and Peter recognised that Vanessa had what it took straight away. Their advice was to do a course to build on her knowledge, and prove to future employers that she was committed.

“I looked around and every time I Googled courses BAA came up, but I was also was given a number and referred from a person. To me a referral is more important than just reading up on the internet. That’s why I decided to go with BAA.”

Vanessa initially signed up for her Certificate IV in Building and Construction.

“Before I knew it, I was signed up, sitting down, and doing my first course. I loved every minute of it, the teacher was great. He’s really good. He makes the learning a lot easier. Laid back, he makes everyone more relaxed.”

Unfortunately, even though she flew through the course, Vanessa didn’t find work as easily as she would have hoped.

“It’s in the back of your mind every interview you have. Was it because I’m a female? Concreting Isn’t a trade that a lot of people would see as a trade, so that knowledge gets looked down on as well.”

“After a while I was like, ‘What will I do next to further myself?’ That’s when I signed up, nothing to lose, for the diploma.”

Building Confidence with Knowledge

“You’re looking at female tradie with concreting background who is a single mum. You get turned down for another job and you think, I didn’t get that job again. Why?”

The way Vanessa sees it, the best way to get ahead of the competition is to get more qualifications. Don’t get mad, get educated.

“You just got to get up and keep going. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

That’s why Vanessa has returned to BAA for her Diploma in Building and Construction. She feels that it’s definitely been worthwhile. A lot of the course covers things she was already familiar with, but has helped to deepen her understanding and build her confidence.

“We all, most of us signing up, have an understanding of the building industry, but it’s extending what we already know.”

“Everyone one knows that there’s Australian standards to be met and codes and practices. It’s learning your way around those codes and practices and learning what they are and learning what each trade is and where to go to if you need that assistance.”

Vanessa has been able to apply this knowledge straight away, as she works on building her home. Already, she has avoided many expensive, time-consuming and frustrating mistakes that she made while working on her last house.

“On the old house I built, I just did everything my way and dealt with consequences as I went. This time, I’ve stopped, thought about it, double checked with the standards.

“I had an issue with the neighbour, them complaining about the height of the wall, but because I’d checked all the standards, I knew I was well within my rights.”

“Before I wouldn’t have known that. My confidence has gone way up since doing the course.”

Vanessa is optimistic that, when she completes her Diploma, she’ll be able to start doing the work she loves in the industry she’s passionate about. All she needs is a chance, like the one those supervisors gave her.

“Further your studies, further your knowledge. Hopefully the next person will come along and give you a go and teach you what they want you to know. Then you can blossom.”

Looking to take the next step in your career in building and construction with a certificate or diploma? Contact our team at 1300 LEGEND (1300 534 363) or request a callback and we will get back to you with all the information you need.