PATRICIA Wilson releases a throaty chuckle when asked what her company name TMT Industries stands for.
"I'm Trisha, my middle name is Maree, and it's Trisha Maree's Turn. It's my turn to show people I can do this," the 64-year-old says of her role as boss of 10 men in the asbestos removal industry.
One of eight kids raised in Moonan Flat, out the back of Scone, Mrs Wilson left school after Year 10, worked at Coles and service stations before having a family.
In the 1990s she manned the office of a local demolition firm and learnt all about the sector over 20 years but gave up her job when her husband Grant was diagnosed with cancer. He recovered but was unable to work. Something had to give.
"I didn't want to work on wages anymore, I had to open my own business," Mrs Wilson says.
When she started in the demolition and asbestos removal industry, she says it was barely regulated. As the laws changed over the years, Mrs Wilson learnt it all. She felt confident to fly the coop.
Launched in 2014, TMT Industries specialises in the removal of asbestos in residential and commercial buildings, including schools. The company is licensed to remove Class A or "friable" asbestos, or material that contains asbestos and is in a powder form or that can be crumbled, as well as Class B, or "everyday" asbestos.
Mrs Wilson tries to look after staff - one female and 10 males - as best she can.
"It's an industry where the majority of workers are unskilled labourers, many illiterate, but you have to look past that and look for the better part of them," she notes.
Mrs Wilson doesn't highlight the fact she is in charge when she talks to new customers on the telephone.
"Because I'm a female some men don't like dealing with me, but once I break the barrier they are great," she says. "Sometimes I meet people and I watch their eyes; I think they think I am six-foot with tattooes and piercings but I'm only five-foot."
When her "boys" on site and get asked who the boss is, she says, "they say Trisha, and when they are asked what it's like working for a woman, they say 'She's hard, she's fair, she looks after us."
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