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Our Differences are our Strengths: Jessica’s Story

“No piece of wood is the same,” says Cabinet maker Jessica Currie. “You always have to be really creative with how you approach it, how you use it and be mindful of how it moves over time.”

People are the same, in how our needs, skills and aspirations shift and change over time.

Jess studied a Certificate III in Cabinet Making MSF31113. She has always been passionate about the trade, enthusiastic about the work and driven to overcome any challenges that arise.

Having prior experience working with furniture refurbishment, she was initially drawn to the pre-apprentice course as a way to further her knowledge and hone her skills.

She explains, “Timber is beautiful because of its uniqueness and solid timber is probably my favourite thing to work with because it's always different.”

Jess started by completing a three-month intensive Certificate II in Furniture Making Pathways MSF20552 before landing her apprenticeship and progressing to a Certificate III in Cabinet Making and Joinery.

She now works for furniture makers Beeline Design and was selected as the first apprentice under the leadership duo Lucy and Adam - they noted how she was unafraid to ask questions, think outside the box and suggest alternative solutions.

For Jess, her apprenticeship has been a North Star guiding her while simultaneously igniting a passion to grow, learn and constantly improve her craft.

Channeling hyperfocus for increased productivity

Jess was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 10 years old and has spent much of her life learning the skills she needs to manage it.

Years later, she is able to channel periods of hyperfocus to maximise productivity and knows how to cultivate the most effective working environment to suit her.

She expressed immense gratitude for the support she received from her bosses at Beeline and her teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic, saying they gave her the freedom to work on her own terms while still challenging herself.

That same tenacity is what won Jess the 2023 Outstanding Apprentice / Trainee of the Year award.

“I worked really hard on my final project and my folio,” said Jess, “It feels really good, especially being a female in the industry as well as for all the people who are neurodivergent and in the trades.”

Jess’s story is one that celebrates difference and reminds us that ultimately, our differences are our greatest strengths.