BCM traffic and law enforcement superintendent of driving licences, Melanie Canestra-Hill, has seen her passion and dedication for her job rewarded, having moved steadily up the ladder in a male-dominated occupation.
She displayed this strong work ethic when she participated in Survivor Quarantine Island recently.
As an avid fan of M-Net’s Survivor SA, Canestra-Hill decided to first submit her own audition in 2019.
“I realised that I’m more than ready to take part in the game and deal with all the social, mental and physical challenges it throws at the castaways.
“I want to be pushed to the limit to see just how resilient I really am,” she said.
Though unsuccessful, this did not deter her and she is already strategising about her next audition video.
Canestra-Hill said she had been inundated with Facebook messages from the community. “People told me their stories and how they don’t believe achieving their learners or driving licence is possible.
“To see people’s lack of self-confidence to do the achievable breaks my heart. I felt compelled to assist these people to gain the confidence they require to achieve their goals,” she said.
While she did not make it onto the main show, she was able to participate in Survivor Quarantine Island, an online version of the game not affiliated to M-Net, and set up by East London host Ruaan Petzer, with the assistance of Toni Tebutt from Survivor SA season six.
“The castaways are from all over SA and one is even playing the game while based in the UK.
“Castaways are placed into tribes and given challenges that vary from designing electronic tribe flags, lipsyncing videos, physical challenges or quizzes testing your knowledge of the g a m e ,” Canestra-Hill said.
When she’s not testing her survival skills, Canestra-Hill is serving her community through her work.
“To serve the community, which includes our animals and environment, is so fulfilling,” she said.
“Th e r e ’s something very special about the character of a person in law enforcement and this makes one look forward to going to work every day.” She believes she was born for the job.
“As a woman, you continuously have to prove to others that you’re capable and deserve to be where you are. We can try to deny this, however, it is a reality.
“Unfortunately, we’re still living in a world where certain careers are perceived to only fit a certain gender,” she said.
BCM traffic and law enforcement commander Quinton Chetty said Canestra-Hill displayed the characteristics necessary for the job.
“She’s a person with high integrity, is conscientious in what she wants to achieve and is disciplined, with high values and moral fibre.
“Such characteristics are important in the workplace, and filters to all aspects of your life,” Chetty said.