Pulling up my pink knee-high socks, I walked onto the building site.
‘Morning,’ I said, as I passed the other blokes in their high-vis.
They smiled and nodded but I knew they were thinking, What on Earth is she doing here?
After finishing school, I’d thought I wanted to be a beautician but I didn’t have the patience.
Instead, I did a few weeks’ work with my dad, a builder, and I enjoyed getting my hands dirty.
So, I applied for job after job – 120 in total – before finally landing an apprenticeship at the age of 19.
Right Aimee, it’s time to prove yourself, I thought.
That day, we were doing the plumbing on a roof still under construction.
‘Aimee, take these sheets of metal down to the lads on the ground,’ my boss said.
‘Okay,’ I said, grabbing two big pieces in each hand.
There was an easy route down the ladder or I could walk across the beams as I’d seen others doing.
Wanting to impress, I set off across with all the grace and balance I could muster.
But halfway, I slipped, sending the metal flying.
Losing my balance, I stepped onto the thin layer of roof and my foot went straight through.
With an almighty crash, I fell.
As my legs dangled beneath me, I glanced down and saw a worker staring up at me, holding a sandwich.
‘G’day mate, how are you going?’ I blurted.
He fetched a chair and helped me down.
Thankfully, I came away with just a few scrapes and bruises.
It was the week from hell but I thought if I could survive that, I could survive anything.
Despite my clumsiness, I knew plumbing was for me and over the next year, I worked hard to complete my apprenticeship.
I went on to work for a major construction company.
There, I became friends with a fellow plumber named Kayne and eventually, romance bloomed.
Like me, he was passionate about our trade. He was kind and funny too.
I’d grown into a confident plumber but there was still sexism in our industry.
Being a tradie was aimed at boys at school, but I wanted girls to feel they belonged on a building site too.
So I set up a program in schools to inspire girls to chase their dreams.
Then in 2019, my brother Ben and I started a business building tiny houses.
My dad pitched in too, and we soon fell in love with running our family business.
Meanwhile, Kayne and I were busy buying our first house when we spotted an ad for contestants for Channel Seven’s House Rules.
We’d long been fans of the renovation show and now seemed like the perfect time to put our skills to the test.
Amazingly, we made the cut and after just a few weeks in our new home, we flew to Sydney to get started.
While Kayne and I have worked on the same building site, renovating a home together will be the ultimate test. But I know we’ve got what it takes.
As long as our plans don’t come crashing down like did all those years ago, we’ll be onto a winner! ●
House Rules: High Stakes, airs Sunday 7pm and Monday to Tuesday 7.30pm on Channel 7