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Allyssa Hudson: a rising talent

Allyssa Hudson: a rising talent

Allyssa Hudson exemplifies the myriad opportunities inherent in the construction industry, having already contributed to several high-profile major projects across diverse sectors since starting her carpentry apprenticeship in 2020.

As a qualified carpenter at Lendlease, Allyssa Hudson has helped deliver some of Sydney’s most iconic buildings and infrastructure, despite construction not being her initial career trajectory.

During her schooling, Hudson received constant encouragement from educators to prioritise academic studies and pursue a university degree post her higher school certificate (HSC). Interestingly, a career in construction or a skilled trade was never presented as a viable option. In fact, Hudson recalls joking with friends about the unconventional notion of ‘dropping out’ and becoming a tradesperson.

“My high school placed a strong emphasis on the HSC and university path, with minimal exposure to or discussion about the construction industry,” says Hudson. “I vividly remember joking with a friend about the idea of leaving school to become ‘tradies’ – an option that our teachers never suggested to us.”

“After school I enrolled in university and started a double degree – a Bachelor of International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts – and only lasted around six weeks.”

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Eager to contribute meaningfully to society, but having realised university wasn’t right for her, Hudson entered the workforce as a traffic controller in January 2018 with the support of her mother, who at the time was an accountant at a labour hire company.

Although this role was more her speed, Hudson continued searching for a field that resonated with her interest in hands-on work. She stuck with traffic control for two years, during which she had the opportunity to work around major projects led by Tier 1 contractors, including Lendlease.

“I spent most of my time researching and engaging with countless individuals involved in the projects I was controlling traffic for, delving into their varied roles and responsibilities,” says Hudson. “Frequently subcontracted to Lendlease, I had the opportunity to interact with one of their apprentices who shared insights into his job and expressed genuine satisfaction in his role.”

Allyssa Hudson
Allyssa Hudson.

Inspired by this interaction, Hudson decided to pursue a career in the construction industry, with Lendlease standing out as an excellent employer to begin her journey. In late 2019, she sought a carpentry apprenticeship through My Gateway, an organisation that employs apprentices and trainees and hosts them to businesses within their chosen industry. Hudson not only successfully secured a position but also spent three fulfilling years as an apprentice hosted by Lendlease.

During her apprenticeship, Hudson played a role in the delivery of numerous significant projects in Sydney, New South Wales. As a component of Lendlease’s comprehensive professional development offerings, the company actively facilitates opportunities for apprentices to acquire valuable experience, collaborate with senior leadership and cultivate essential skills on a diverse range of major projects spanning multiple sectors. This initiative encompasses the entire spectrum of project types that the company undertakes.

“During my apprenticeship I got to see and work on five different project sites, all of them unique,” says Hudson. “These included the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, Salesforce commercial office tower, HMAS Watson Royal Australian Navy base, North Sydney Metro Station and One Sydney Harbour residential apartments.”

“I enjoy contributing to community-focused projects, like the Prince of Wales Hospital, as it brings me a sense of purpose to be part of delivering something that not only benefits but is also actively utilised by the community.”

Lendlease also arranges onsite placements for apprentices to gain hands-on experience across mixed trades. As part of this program, Hudson worked alongside tradespeople within Lendlease’s subcontractor network, spending two weeks with the electricians, one week with the sprinkler fitters, three months with the formworkers and six weeks with the gyprockers. This allowed her to acquire a comprehensive understanding of each trade, progressively gaining new skills and knowledge throughout the process.

“In a relatively short period, I gained exposure to a wide spectrum of fields, spanning heath, commercial, Defence, infrastructure and residential sectors, while also delving into various trades and roles within the industry,” says Hudson.

This multifaceted journey reached a pinnacle in the third year of Hudson’s apprenticeship when she was honoured with the Transport for NSW Tradesperson Scholarship at the National Association of Women in Construction’s (NAWIC) 2022 New South Wales Awards for Excellence.

“As I approached the conclusion of my apprenticeship, winning this scholarship felt like a gratifying and meaningful way to cap off all the knowledge and new skills I had acquired throughout the course,” says Hudson. “This scholarship has not only provided a sense of accomplishment but has also paved the way for numerous opportunities.”

“Now, I am an active member of the NAWIC community, connecting with other women thriving in trades and the broader construction industry.”

Upon completing her carpentry apprenticeship in January 2023, Lendlease extended an offer to Hudson for a full-time carpentry role, an opportunity she keenly accepted. Hudson is currently part of Lendlease’s defects crew, responsible for inspecting nearly completed apartment buildings. Her role involves meticulous checks on joinery, kitchens, bathrooms and various other elements to ensure that everything meets the highest construction standards. Beyond inspections, Hudson also takes on additional carpentry responsibilities, including the installation of handrails, emergency signage and edge protection.

“You need to be adaptable, as you could be working in any of the different crews within the business,” she says. “Remaining open to learning from all colleagues and seizing opportunities for growth is equally important.”

Having accumulated a wealth of experience, Allyssa Hudson consistently underscores the value of embracing unconventional paths and seizing opportunities in a field that may not always be presented as an obvious choice. Her guidance for aspiring individuals venturing into the construction industry is straightforward: take the initiative, get a start, and once in, learn as much as possible.

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