By Casey Neill
Caitlin Whitney is overcoming obstacles and impressing her colleagues in the auto repair industry.
The 20-year-old was the Youth Enterprise Award nominee at the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Business Awards breakfast at Sandhurst Golf Club on Wednesday 14 June.
Chisholm Institute automotive instructor Ron Locandro said Caitlin was “a well-balanced young lady”.
She started her studies in July last year and is working on a certificate three in automotive vehicle technology at the TAFE’s Frankston campus.
The Langwarrin resident works at P and D Automotive Dandenong.
Mr Locandro said she had a “bright, cheeky smile” on her first day and “reminded me of my daughter”.
Caitlin revealed to him that she had visual dyslexia, but he said it hadn’t held her back.
“She is showing real good leadership,” he said.
Mr Locandro said it was even more impressive to see in a male-dominated industry.
Caitlin’s hands were shaking as she walked onto the stage to receive her award.
She told the breakfast guests that she wanted to finish her apprenticeship and become qualified, then return to study so she could work in the mines.
She’s worked on vehicles since she was a young girl, has helped her dad with repairs and built quad bikes and more.
“I’m only good at this type of work and very interested in doing more of this type of work,” she said.
Caitlin’s goal is to have her own business.
Breakfast MC Sjaak Kusters said: “It’s people like Caitlin that’s going to make this a better world.”