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Scania Power On the Job

Melinda Tairi is a multi-talented young Australian. Not only has she recently qualified as a diesel mechanic after a three-and-a-half year apprenticeship with a Scania branch in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, but she is a Nissan GT-R enthusiast with a string of track days behind her.

Another of Mel’s passions is Muay Thai (Thai boxing). She recently celebrated her qualification as a fully-fledged mechanic by jetting off to Thailand for a three-week Muay Thai training camp.

“There aren’t many females competing in this sport in Australia, I am keen to enhance my skills and fitness to hopefully compete one day. I’m hoping to return for more training in Thailand soon,” she says.

Of course, she has to squeeze in her training which she attends 3 to 5 days a week at Westside Martial Arts in Melbourne, with a full-time job as a Scania diesel mechanic.

Mel says she has been very happy at the Scania Laverton Branch, west of Melbourne, and enjoys rebuilding engines most of all. “Compared with car engines, truck parts are bigger and heavier, but I find it easier working on trucks than cars. There is better engine bay access and we have cranes to help lift the heavy components,” she says.

“The best thing about coming to work is that most days it doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy what I am doing, and work with such good people.”

Just as there were few female GT-R enthusiasts, and few female Muay Thai competitors, there are very few female qualified diesel technicians in Australia, although at least one other female apprentice is on the Scania books in neighbouring New South Wales.

But with Mel as a role model, there’s every chance Scania will be able to attract even more to the company, although Muay Thai skills or GT-R track experience will not be mandatory.