Heidi Wilson has always loved developing new skills and taking on new challenges. In short, that’s why her career has already taken her from working in retail and hospitality, to supporting...
AFLW star and apprentice plumber Jasmine Garner (JG) sat down with Australian Plumbing (AP) to discuss what it’s like to juggle on and off-field performance.
Jasmine Garner’s AFLW peers see her as a star. They recently awarded her the best female footballer in the country. With back-to-back, All-Australian selections and 2020 AFLW Players Association Most Valuable Player there can’t be much left to top that.
AP What do you hope to achieve going forward?
JG Well, my very first AFLW game (for Collingwood) at Ikon Park in front of a lock out crowd (of almost 25,000) is something I’ll never forget. The build up to being part of the inaugural AFLW season was pretty intense.
This year was also pretty special for me being part of the first ever finals win with North Melbourne, ironically against my old team (Collingwood).
Unfortunately, the season was shut down a week later and we were unable to go through to a prelim but we were rapt with what we were able to achieve this season.
AP You were originally selected by Collingwood as part of their inaugural team in the 2017 AFLW competition. Was it hard to don a Collingwood Guernsey, after growing up following the Blues?
JG Haha! Yes! Growing up being a Carlton supporter I definitely would have loved playing for The Blues but to be drafted by any club was a dream come true.
Mum is a Collingwood supporter, so she was pretty stoked when I was drafted by Collingwood. I would have been happy being drafted to any team, as long as I got to play.
AP In addition to being a trailblazer for women’s footy and a role model for so many young girls around the country, you’re also currently undertaking an apprenticeship in an industry that traditionally sees very few women get involved. What interested you about plumbing and how did you get started?
JG I have always wanted to do a trade. I had originally started an apprenticeship in landscaping but plumbing is something I was keen on as well, there’s a lot of variety in the work and heaps of career opportunities. I wasn’t really exposed to trades as a career when I was in school but it was always in the back of my mind. I have a few friends who do plumbing as well and they absolutely love it.
Before I started my apprenticeship I worked at North Melbourne Football Club in the academy space. I loved working there but it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever. I spoke to my boss and operations manager and told them my interest in starting an apprenticeship and they were all for it.
Lucky for me, they knew of a coterie member who had a plumbing business and they put me in touch with them. A few phone calls and an interview later and I was part of the team.
AP You’re into your second year of your apprenticeship now, working with Cooke and Dowsett on some pretty big jobs. What have you enjoyed the most so far and what would you like to aim for in the years to come with your plumbing?
JG I’m loving the variety of work and learning about all aspects of plumbing. It can be challenging but it’s definitely rewarding. Much like being around the footy club, it’s helpful to have some experienced people around, who are willing to give you their time and help you learn.
There’s so many options when it comes to a career in plumbing. I’m keen to learn as much as I can during my apprenticeship to give me a better idea of what I want to do or concentrate on when I become a registered plumber.
AP Tell us a bit about how you’re able to balance two very demanding responsibilities (footy and your apprenticeship) and make them both work?
JG It can be tough while footy is in season but I love doing them both. I have great support from the footy club and my company to make them both work. The RDO we have every couple of weeks definitely helps!
AP What advice would you have for anyone out there considering a career in plumbing?
JG Give it a go! From what I’ve experienced so far it’s a great trade and there’s plenty of variety in it. Doing an apprenticeship is a great way to learn and be paid at the same time.
FAST FACTS: Jasmine Garner
Born: 8 July 1994
First team: Yarraville Football Club (aged eight)
Scored: The first-ever goal in the AFLW competition in 2017
AFLW career games (goals):
2017-18 Collingwood 14 (10)
2019- North Melbourne 14 (13)
2020 MVP winner: 413 votes from her peers, ahead of second-year Carlton youngster Madison Prespakis (227) and Collingwood’s Jaimee Lambert (201).