Scroll Top

Ellsie Mead: A Trailblazer in Construction


In the realm of construction, where tradition often reigns supreme, a new wave of talent is emerging, challenging stereotypes, and reshaping the industry’s landscape. Among these rising stars stands Ellsie Mead, a beacon of inspiration whose journey embodies resilience, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. As the recipient of the prestigious Master Builders Australia 2023 National Apprentice of the Year award, Ellsie’s journey is not just one of personal achievement but a testament to the evolving landscape of the industry.

Ellsie’s path to prominence wasn’t paved with ease. As the daughter of industry stalwarts, she could have easily coasted on familial connections. Yet, from the outset, Ellsie set her sights on carving her own legacy, showcasing a remarkable blend of self-reliance and dedication, propelled by an unwavering passion for carpentry. Her performance, as noted by Master Builders Australia’s judging panel, was exceptional in every aspect. Confidence, passion, and eloquence were not mere attributes but defining characteristics that set her apart from the other nominees vying for the 2023 National Apprentice of the Year title.

“I entered my apprenticeship with a really positive mindset,” Ellsie reflects. “I wanted to be a carpenter, and I wanted to be successful.” This determination proved pivotal as she navigated the challenges of being the boss’ daughter, a hurdle she overcame with grace and grit. One of Ellsie’s most striking qualities is her profound industry knowledge. Her decision to upskill and pursue the WHS Cert IV underscores her commitment to continuous learning and pursuit of excellence . Her journey was not only about mastering her craft but also about challenging norms and paving the way for future generations. But it’s not just about qualifications; Ellsie’s understanding of the industry is comprehensive and forward-thinking, positioning her as a leader among her peers.

“I was the first girl,” Ellsie recalls, reflecting on her early days in the trade. “When Georgie, our second female apprentice came along, it was just natural. Everyone accepted it.” Indeed, Ellsie’s presence has catalysed a shift in attitudes within her workplace, fostering an environment where diversity is not only embraced but celebrated. Her ascent has not only shattered glass ceilings but also paved the way for others to follow suit.

“My proudest moments are when we welcome new apprentices,” Ellsie shares. “Especially when one of them is a female. It’s a testament to how far we’ve come.” Beyond her undeniable skill with a hammer and saw, Ellsie’s impact transcends the confines of her trade. As a confidante and mentor, she has become a trusted ally for her colleagues, fostering open dialogue and driving positive change within the industry.

“The conversations have changed,” Ellsie notes. “The impact women can have is irreplaceable.” Looking to the future, Ellsie sees endless possibilities within the construction industry, where the path from apprentice to leader is well-defined for those willing to seize it. “The opportunities are never-ending,” she asserts. “The transition from trade to managerial roles is paved out for you. If you want that natural progression, it’s there, and you can take it.”

Ellsie Mead is more than just an apprentice of the year; she is a trailblazer, a leader, and a visionary. Her journey serves as a testament to the boundless potential within us all. Through her tenacity, passion, and unwavering commitment to excellence, she has not only earned accolades but also inspired a new generation of trailblazers to defy expectations and forge their own paths.

In the story of Ellsie Mead, we find not only a tale of triumph but also an example where tradition meets innovation, and barriers crumble in the face of unwavering determination. As construction evolves, so too does its cast of characters, with Ellsie Mead joining a rising cohort of strong women in the industry.

Originally published in Florence magazine.

Sign up to our news and media mailing list.