St Margaret Mary’s College students are leading the charge to get more girls into the building industry, after participating in an In-School Experience Program – which involved a panel discussion, touring a virtual construction site, and a site visit to the highly anticipated North Queensland Stadium.
The students were among the first to trial the Virtual Construction Site Tour (VCS Tour) using virtual reality headsets developed by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Lecturer in Construction Project Management, Dr Fiona Lamari, which allows users to ‘experience’ a virtual walk-through and meet with various trades and professions working on a major project in Brisbane CBD.
The In-School Experience Program is the brainchild of the National Association of Women in Construction – Queensland (NAWIC QLD).
The program intends to expose high school girls to the breadth of career options available which directly impacts the in-flow of female talent into the construction industry.
In early 2019, Dr Lamari was awarded the NAWIC International Women’s Day Scholarship, project titled Engagement with Regional School Students through Virtual Construction Site Tour – an Immersive Experience.
The creation of the VCS Tour was supported by QUT and leading construction contractor, Multiplex.
Dr Lamari says “ultimately this is about changing perceptions of the construction industry”.
“I developed the Virtual Construction Site Tour to allow students to step on to a construction site and meet with influential and diverse role models,” she detailed.
Later in the year, Dr Lamari assumed the chair role of the NAWIC QLD Education and Mentoring Committee.
“It’s important that we reach out to young women when they are in their high school years and beginning to consider their career path. We want them to realise that there are many avenues open to them in construction; to know it is safe, rewarding, and that there is plenty of support available” she added.
The NAWIC QLD In-school Program included a site visit to the North Queensland Stadium (NQS) to give the students an inside look at how the $290 million venue is being brought to life.
Once complete, the NQS will be a 25,000 seat, best-practice, multi-purpose, regional stadium with a design that aims to attract visitors and investment, celebrate Townsville’s climate, value the water edge environment, deliver high-quality public spaces and support urban regeneration.
The VCS Tour will be made available by NAWIC QLD at various career expos across the state in 2020.
If you are interested in the In-School Experience Program or the VCS Tour, please contact Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org