Mary Cotterill, mother of three, started her butchery apprenticeship at 38 years. Stroud Butchery is her family business and Ms Cotterill said she always wanted to be a butcher.
“We opened the shop in 2010 and we decided it would help our business go ahead if I did an Apprenticeship and my husband would be my boss and trainer.”
“It was hard work,” Ms Cotterill told Myall Coast News.
Mary juggled the tasks of the three children, running a household and full time work learning a trade.
She did all the Tafe work at home where she could squeeze in the time.
“I also taught myself how to do the bookkeeping and accounting so I had a lot more going on than your average young apprentice,” Mary said.
If that wasn’t enough Mary still made time for other community activates.
“Later in my apprenticeship I joined a ladies soccer team and was treasurer and did some fund raising for the team.”
“It has been a long tough Apprenticeship as my boss gave me no special treatment. He was very hard and told me it was for my own good as to do the trade I needed to do it properly or not at all,” Mary told Myall Coast News.
“From the start of my Apprenticeship I said I was going be great at it and aim for Apprentice of the year 2015 for butchery (cert 3 in meat retail ).”
Mary worked hard, fulfilling extra study to get 9 distinctions and 6 credits.
Her hard work and tenacious attitude was rewarded when on 26 June Mary was awarded Apprentice butcher of the year 2015 for the hunter region.
At the award presentation, at Wests Lambton, she was also credited with the Phil Darby Memorial Award of Encouragement.
This special award is for apprentices or trainees who have had a challenging time while completing their vocation/ trade.
“It was a fantastic experience to have all my hard work acknowledged with these amazing awards,” Ms Cotterill said.
Mary wanted to particularly wish older people encouragement to shoot for their dreams.
“It’s never too late to do a trade and be great at it,” she said.