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Q/A with welder Cheynae from Jayben Group

Cheynae Bramich is a boilermaker at Jayben Group in Tasmania. A boilermaker by trade, Cheynae recently gained her International Welding Inspector – Basic (IWI-B) qualification and has started training for AS 2214 Structural Steel Supervisor. Cheynae answered some questions about her career in welding.

Q: Can you describe your job?

A: I am a boilermaker welder at Jayben Group on the north west coast of Tasmania. I have been here for just over 12 months and during that time my responsibilities have been in the manufacturing sector. My role revolves around the production of civil and mining products, catering to a diverse range of industries.

One of the significant aspects of my job entails capitalising on defence fabrication opportunities, where precision and durability are paramount. Working with a wide range of materials mainly carbon steel and aluminium, I am tasked with fabricating structures that adhere to stringent quality standards.


Considering the demanding requirements inherent in defence projects, Jayben has invested in my professional development, enabling me to complete certifications such as the IWI-B (International Welding Inspector – Basic) and commence training for AS 2214 (Structural Steel Supervisor).

These certifications not only enhance my ability but also complement our commitment to delivering excellency in defence fabrication projects.

Image: Supplied by Weld Australia

Q: What inspired you to choose a career in welding?

A: Going through school, not really knowing what I wanted to do as a career I studied childcare as many of my friends and fellow students chose to, courses were readily available and the need for child carers in industry was high. I enjoyed my studies however I found working with children challenging. So I began looking for new opportunities and signed up to a local job agency.

One day, I received a phone call and was asked if I’d be interested in a short course in welding. I was available, so I agreed to try something new. I arrived at a very small, local workshop eager to learn all about welding. I thoroughly enjoyed my short course in welding and I was pulled aside by the gentleman running it to say that I should pursue a career in welding!

The industry was booming on the north west coast of Tasmania and in a matter of weeks I scored a trial in a boiler making/heavy metal fabrication workshop in Somerset. I applied for the first apprenticeship I saw advertised. I was called for an interview and once that process was completed, I was offered an apprenticeship! One could say it was a snowball effect that led me to my apprenticeship in heavy metal fabrication. And one that I was not expecting. The process of being able to join two pieces of metal together has always intrigued me as I remember Dad when I was a child welding in the shed at home. Also my older brother successfully pursued a career in welding and the metal fabrication industry as soon as he left high school, and I thought to myself, “If he can do it, so can I!”

Q: Why do you think women should consider a career in welding?

A: I think women should consider a career in welding for a few different reasons. Firstly boilermakers are in high demand across different industries such as construction, manufacturing and automotive. 

Welding offers a wide range of career paths including fabrication, inspection, supervision and management roles, engineering and so much more!

Welding and fabricating are hands on jobs, yes. But it enables you to problem solve and allows you to develop valuable technical skills and contribute to projects that require precision and creativity.

And lastly, women should consider a career in welding because, by entering a typically male dominated workforce, we are challenging stereotypes. We are able to inspire others to pursue careers based on our interests and abilities rather than social expectations.

Q: Do you have any advice for women considering a career in welding?

A: Seriously, wear your PPE and follow safety protocols. They are in place for a reason and everyone wants to get home to their family safely at the end of each shift. Build self confidence, believe in yourself and your abilities, and don’t let stereotypes and gender biases deter you from your work.

Be strong, and resilient and persevere through any setbacks or difficulties you may encounter along the way. Seek mentorship and network with a range of people in the welding industry. By building these connections it opens you up to more opportunities for career advancement and support.

And lastly, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, speak up if you encounter any discrimination because of your gender. Remember you deserve to be treated with respect and fairness in your workplace.

Image: Supplied by Weld Australia

Q: Have you found working in a traditionally male dominated industry difficult? If so, how have you overcome any challenges?

A: Yes, I’m not going to lie here. Working in a male dominated industry was tough for me during my apprenticeship.

It was in my second year that I fell pregnant with my son. During that time I was subjected to a lot of harsh judgement about what I should and shouldn’t be doing regarding my personal health and safety. I was shunned by many men in the workplace, and I was subjected to workplace harassment and bullying behaviours to some degree.

But despite the negativity that I was receiving, I remained strong in my own beliefs that what I was doing (by continuing my work and my apprenticeship) was the best thing for me and my baby. When times got tough, I reached out to family and friends for guidance and support. Over the next decade, I learnt that overcoming these challenges and many like them require a combination of personal strength, resilience, and determination to succeed professionally.

Q: What is the most interesting project you’ve worked on? Why?

A: Among all the projects I’ve undertaken, none captures my fascination quite like our defence project. Its attraction lies not only in its significance but also in the intricacies it presents.

One of the most captivating aspects is the challenge of weld procedure qualifications, particularly when it comes to PWHT of aluminium—a material known for its sensitivity to temperature variations. Navigating aluminium welding while adhering to stringent standards demands attention to detail and precision.

Furthermore, being entrusted with the role of a welding inspector adds another layer of complexity, as I must ensure compliance with relevant standards while maintaining the integrity and quality of our work.

The dynamic nature of this project, coupled with the technical challenges it presents, makes it an endlessly intriguing opportunity that pushes the boundaries of my expertise and fuels my passion for excellence in fabrication.

Q: Who has inspired you professionally and why?

A: I’d like to make mention of my brother, who successfully completed his apprenticeship as a boilermaker welder and has continued to work in the industry ever since. Without him I would never have pictured myself following this amazing career path. Or known that this trade was even a possibility for me.

His ability to fabricate and weld heavy machinery to the level in which he does, has given me
insights into

what it means to be a skilled tradesman. Initially, it was his passion for welding that inspired me to give it a go in the first instance and I am grateful that I did.

Not to mention the countless kind men (and women) who taught and supported me throughout my career. Without encouragement and guidance from fellow work mates, TAFE teachers and people within industry, I would not be achieving what I am today. It’s the passion and potential that I see in other people which continues to inspire me to do what I enjoy. 

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