RESTORING a 1940's railway house in Flora Hill is a long way from Kelly Allan's original career as a supermarket manager.
The 27-year-old left her corporate job behind to apprentice as a carpenter, trading in her regular shifts for 6:45 am starts.
On Thursday night her career change was endorsed by Master Builders Victoria, which gave her the Bendigo Apprentice of the Year, Developing Leader award.
"I knew Boden (Yarrington Constructions director) was looking for an apprentice and a friend said to me 'why don't you do it?' I thought it was a joke at first but then Boden called me and asked if I wanted the job," she said.
Ms Allan decided to take the leap and now works for Yarrington and studies at Bendigo TAFE.
She was at a construction site on Friday, restoring a heritage property at Flora Hill with her workmates Ethan Stanley, Alex Thwaites and Mr Yarrington.
The team will retain the heritage listed facade, chimney and other features, while adding modern rooms to the back of the house.
"We will use new boards and new paint on the front. You always try to preserve it for its history and of course - it's heritage listed so there are a lot of rules about how you have to do this kind of work," she said.
"When we are finished it will look almost young again. The change you get to see is amazing."
It is the third home in the Flora Hill street the team has worked on.
"We're a small team and I enjoy working this way, they've helped me stick with it."
The Master Builders judges said they looked forward to seeing Ms Allan continue her career, and hoped she would develop project management skills.
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