Grace was born to Italian parents who lived in the south west of the state of Western Australia. Her passion for food she attributes to her mother, who just seemed to be able to make an appetising meal out of whatever was available. In relation to becoming a butcher Grace says…
“I didn’t set out to be a butcher, the profession chose me. When I was a teenager I wanted to be an air hostess. I had this plan that I’d marry a rich pilot and we’d fly off into the distance and live happily ever after.”
Grace’s family opened a butcher’s shop and asked her to ‘help out’ for a few weeks. She was just 16 years of age. The business swallowed her whole and 30 years on, she is passionate about her trade. In fact, she is now a champion for the Agri-Food Industry Skills Council at the national level.
“Although women now work in every facet of industry and occupation, this was not always the case,” says Grace. “When I was training, TAFE didn’t even recognise women in trades. I had to fight for everything. I had to argue for the opportunity to have my skills recognised and I’m proud to say I was one of the first female qualified butchers in Western Australia.”
Grace wears her trade with style. She has demonstrated that women can do anything with excellence if they have the passion for it, and that they can not only survive but thrive working in the meat industry.
As a champion for the Agri-Food industry, Grace has mentored young women through the ROSA mentoring program. “I really enjoyed inspiring young women to pursue non-traditional roles,” says Grace.
As a guest on the Bob Maumill program on 6PR, Grace is also passionate about helping people to recognise the value of a good home cooked meal. Her desire is to help people fall in love with cooking and so she shares her favourite recipes and entertaining secrets with her listeners weekly.
Grace is a mother of two grown children, of whom she is very proud.