Harry Waterfall found his calling while helping out his dad on the farm. Nowadays, he loves working with wood and being behind the tools every day.

Growing up, Harry Waterfall loved helping his dad out on their angus cattle farm.

After high school, he began doing farm maintenance work alongside his cousin.

He decided to formalise his qualification in carpentry and applied for an apprenticeship with G.E.M Taylor Construction in Main Ridge, at the same time kicking off his Certificate III in Carpentry.

Harry thrived with Chisholm and really enjoyed the learning experience.

“I always like coming to trade school,” he says. “It’s good to catch up with a bunch of blokes who are around your age and skill level. I’ve made a couple of really good mates and we’re always hanging out together.”

“The teachers were awesome. They’ve really looked after me, we get along well and have a bit of banter. They’re like friends, really.

“The teacher shows me tricks and you always find yourself with skills that come in handy on the job site,” he says.

Harry does a block of study at trade school every five to six weeks for four days a week, then works full-time the rest of the time.

“It’s awesome coming to trade school and having a break from getting up early,” he says, with a laugh. “But in all honesty, I love work. I can’t fault it. I’m happy to go to work every day.”

G.E.M Taylor Construction do mainly high-end new builds, with the occasional renovation or extension job.

As an apprentice carpenter, Harry usually arrives at the job site just before 7am. From there, it’s all hands on deck. In his lunch break, he usually “has a yarn with the boys”, then it’s back to work.

The coolest job he has worked on was a renovation, transforming a run-down property into an immaculate masterpiece with unreal views. “To see how it’s come up now is unbelievable,” he says.

Harry is already making a name for himself in the industry. He won the First Year Carpentry Award category at the 2021 HIA-Stratco Victorian Apprentice Awards and was nominated as Apprentice of the Year at the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

“I’m pretty chuffed about the nomination,” he says. “I was a little bit speechless.”

Harry’s goal is to do a Certificate IV in Building and Construction and get his building licence.

He encouraged other young people who were considering a career in carpentry not to wait too long.

“I didn’t start until I was 20, but if you have an inkling you want to do it at high school, dive in,” he says. “You have your probation period, so just go for it. You’re going to enjoy it either way.”