Always be yourself…and don’t take no for an answer!

These were the two key messages delivered to a captivated audience by Sue Alberti, businesswoman and philanthropist, at a recent Geelong Women in Trades (GWIT) breakfast.

Sue‘s story is inspiring. She has endured two tragedies; her first husband Angelo was killed by a truck in 1996 and then her only child Danielle died at the age of 32 in 2001. Throughout these tough times, and during her own health crises in more recent years, Sue has shown tremendous courage and perseverance.

When faced with deciding what to do with their construction business following Angelo’s untimely death Sue stepped up from her behind the scenes role and assumed the leadership role. Sue knew that in order to run the business she needed to know as much as possible about construction. She went back to school, the only female in a class of men, completed her building qualification and within a couple of years became the first female to become a registered builder in Victoria.

Sue is a trailblazer and a role model for women in trades. Sue encouraged the women in the audience to be themselves and to work with all as part of the team. Sue is a shining example of what hard work, self-belief, respect for all and grit can achieve.

Judging by the buzz in the room, the Geelong women present who are working in trades, will be standing just a little taller and less likely to take no for an answer in the weeks, months and years to come.