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2020 Susan Fenton Inspirational Scholarship


The Susan Fenton Inspirational Scholarship is granted to a female student enrolled in a traditional trade apprenticeship or building studies (architecture) course who can inspire other female students to pursue a career in the traditional trades sector. 

The scholarship is given in recognition of and as a fitting tribute to Susan Fenton’s contribution and dedication to Box Hill Institute. Susan Fenton joined Box Hill Institute in 2011 as a teacher in the School of Foundation and Adult Learning and became a staff-elected Board member in July 2016. She passed away after a short battle with illness in 2017.  

This year, the recipient of the Susan Fenton Inspirational Scholarship is third year carpentry apprentice, Alannah Antonellos. Alannah works with GSG Construction on a large commercial building site in Box Hill with between 200 and 300 workers. While working on-site in a male-dominated environment, Alannah demonstrates that women can work in a trade and is changing the attitudes of her male colleagues to promote more females in trades. She is proud to lead by example and encourage others that it can be done.

Current Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions mean the number of workers permitted on the large building project Alannah is working on has been reduced by 25%. Luckily, she has been able to remain on-site, working six days a week. This is a strong endorsement of her work and she has been asked to assist with the orientation of new workers as she aims to set a high standard with her own work.

Alannah’s excellent attitude and enthusiasm for her studies, her career as a carpenter, and her long term focus on developing her career by moving into project management, are admirable. She has also been a role model for female friends who were unsure which career to undertake. Through her encouragement, one of her friends is now a plumbing apprentice. 

Alannah’s encouragement of females to take up traditional trades and vocations is in the true spirit of the Susan Fenton Inspirational scholarship. Her advice to anyone, especially women, wanting to pursue in a traditional trade apprenticeship or building studies architecture) course is, “Don’t let fear stop you from doing something you really love.“