The Daredevil Tradie  – Paulina Mielcarz 

Meet 23-year-old Paulina (Paulie) Mielcarz who is a Rope Access Technician (Ropie) and is smashing the gender stereotypes often associated with Trade Work.

Paulie’s job is a true love story – in an effort to keep active she tried her hand at indoor rock climbing and soon became fixated by the sport, forever chasing the next “high” climb. After some encouragement by her fellow daredevil mates she joined the workforce as a Ropie.

Life as a Ropie involves a range of maintenance tasks on some of the country’s tallest skyscrapers. One day Paulie could be cutting out cracks and rendering, the next she is dangling 20-odd storeys up replacing a window.

Read more about Paulie’s incredible story and life as a Ropie, below…


Sum up what you do on a typical work day?
7am starts. Ropies are all coffee snobs, so we always start our day with a fresh grind. Then we rig our ropes, harness up and drop over the edge.
Our job is so varied and can involve anything the client wants. One day you could be replacing a down pipe or repairing concrete and the next you could be cleaning out silos or carrying out NDT (non destructive testing).


What is the best part of your job?
Everything! There are very few cons. The work is always different. Not to mention I get paid to have the best views and hang out with rad, likeminded people. And even get the occasional playful puppies in the windows.


What is the worst part of your job?
Pulling up 200m of rope at the end of the day. Sometimes even multiple times. Who needs a gym?!


How did end up doing this for a job?

I fell in love with rock climbing five years ago and it opened a world of new hobbies. And with that came some extreme friends that did rope swings and high lining. A few of these thrill-seeking friends and even my brother went on to become Rope Access Technicians. A few years later I followed their footsteps.


What’s your funniest  “on-the-job” story?
My funniest experience was dropping down a window and making awkward eye contact with a naked guy on the other side of the glass. It followed with an even more awkward head nod from both of us. And then I continued to work like nothing had ever happened. It was challenging holding a smile back! Haha


Any standout buildings you’ve worked on, you consider career highlights?
I’ve worked at Allianz Stadium replacing signs. That was amazing!


What are 3 words which describe your Trade?
Crazy, chilled and fun.


How would you describe yourself as a worker?
I would definitely say learn on the job, practical and good with my hands. Also, always willing to have a go and learn something new.


Any interesting industry slang you could explain?
Nope, I’m a frayed knot.


What do you do for fun and recreation when you’re not at work?
I do rock climbing, aerial skills, slack lining, yoga and in winter I snowboard, so anything outdoors really. I’m also currently learning to skateboard and surf. But my favourite pastime would definitely have to be wine drinking!


Would you describe yourself as a thrill seeker? If so, what is the most extreme activity you have done?
Yes! The most extreme would have to be a 50m rope swing.


What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the industry?
Just go for it! Sign up to an IRATA course to learn the basics and everything else you learn as you go.


Why do you choose CAT?
I am in love with all the boots! They’re all great makes and super comfy.


Follow Paulie on Instagram: @paulinamielcarz

Follow Paulie on Facebook: @Paulina Olivia Mielcarz