North Ipswich resident Cheryl-Anne De Lima of Lady on the Roof, who installs antennas, skylights, and roof ventilation.
North Ipswich resident Cheryl-Anne De Lima of Lady on the Roof, who installs antennas, skylights, and roof ventilation. David Nielsen

Local lady sees the skylight

AFTER 20 years behind a desk, Ipswich woman Cheryl-Anne De Lima needed a change of scenery.

And after climbing on top of a few houses, she realised the view was pretty good from the roof.

Ms De Lima, or the “Lady on the Roof”, is Australia’s only female qualified skylight installer, and one of only a small number of female antenna installers.

The 44-year-old worked in graphic design for two decades in Victoria and Queensland before she made the change.

“I was getting tired of sitting in front of a computer, but I stumbled across this and it ticked all the boxes for me,” Ms De Lima said.

“You go to interesting places and meet fascinating people.”

Ms De Lima said most people were surprised to see a woman in her line of work, but many single women appreciated her services.

“I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard ‘I didn’t expect a lady to be climbing on the roof’,” she said.

“A couple of times women have said they’re happy because they’re uncomfortable having a strange man in the house.”

Other customers seemed to think handywomen did a better job because they understood interior design.

“People seem to have the impression that women are more inclined to take more consideration with the aesthetics of where to place the skylight,” Ms De Lima said.

Clearly in a physically demanding line of work, Ms De Lima said men often wanted to do the heavy lifting for her.

But after a couple of months shifting ladders and carrying tools onto roofs, the North Ipswich resident has built up her strength.

Ms De Lima laughed as she remembered when a four-year-old had called her a “man girl” when she climbed onto a roof.

“I don’t think it’s a stereotype that’s going to change in a hurry,” she said.



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