Ten students, who were specially selected by Great Lakes College to get a feel for hands-on careers, will soon be launching their own hand-built canoes and paddle boards thanks to a course they are completing this term at Great Lakes TAFE.
Starting with nothing more than a few pieces of plywood, the boys from Year 10 have crafted canoes and paddle boards. Soon they will be on Wallis Lake fishing, paddling and exploring the unique environment.
The course, Positive Pathways to Work, encourages students to have a good look at hands-on careers while still at high school and combines maths, English and communication skills to get the job done.
Lewis McDonald is one of the students delighted at how his four-metre canoe has shaped up. Lewis says he has definitely learned the art of ‘patience’ as well as a few boat building skills. A keen bream fisherman, he plans to use his canoe on the lake for fishing and will install some fishing rod holders and possibly, even a small motor, to make his hobby even more enjoyable.
Another solid performer in the course is Matthew Dobson. He has enjoyed learning new hands-on skills and looks forward to spray painting his canoe to his own design to give it an individual touch.
Daniel Davies, Zac Vanarey and Josh Varrika have nearly finished their paddle boards, a new feature for the course. Paddle boards are the latest stand-up version of a surfboard which you paddle with a long paddle. The boys also made paddles themselves.
Zac is keen to get plenty of hands-on skills before he leaves school and would like to become a mechanic in the Army, following on from other family members who have joined the forces. Last term he did an introduction to the mechanical trades at Great Lakes TAFE, while continuing at school.
The students have been guided by self-confessed ‘boat-a-holic’, Brian Jones, who has been building boats for 25 years; and Peter Gibson, a construction teacher. Brian has been delighted at the way the students are enthused about their work, some turning up before class even starts.