Trainee Kerryn McInnes breaks the mould

In male-dominated shipping work, trainee Kerryn McInnes is leading the charge for change.

Trainee Kerryn McInnes breaks the mould
Breaking the mould: Kerryn McInnes is forging a career in a traditionally male-dominated industry.


A New South Wales ships trainee has been recognised for her stereotype-breaking role with Maritime Employees Training (METL).

Kerryn McInnes recently won the Trainee of the Year – Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade award in the NSW/ACT Group Training Awards on October 17.

McInnes beat trainees in the also male-dominated electro-technology, horticulture, and timber merchandising sectors for the important award.

"This is amazing," she says.

"It can be tough for a woman out there. It’s really nice to get the recognition."

As a trainee, McInnes completed her Certificate III in Maritime Operations – Integrated Rating through the Australian Maritime College last year.

She spent the following year at sea rotating through three different ships and roles.

These included the RTM TWARRA bulk carrier transporting bauxite between Gladstone and Weipa in far north Queensland and a stint on the Spirit of Tasmania II rolling cargo on and off between Melbourne and Launceston.

McInnes has now also attained an Integrated Rating Certificate of Proficiency from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

METL is a registered training organisation. CEO Simon Earle says McInnes performed well in the practical and theoretical components of the traineeship.

"We are extremely proud of Kerryn’s achievement. She’s a great role model for all trainees, especially females in a job with only about 2 per cent female employees," he says.

"She will be an asset to any employer, just as she was for us, and we are sure she will make a big contribution to the industry."

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