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Thumbs up for Barunga

L-R Evelyn Schaber, Batchelor Institute Arts and Humanities Director, Dilan Thompson, Sommer Meadows, Roper Gulf Regional Council

Students in the remote Indigenous community of Barunga are getting a hands-on education in machinery operating. The three months course, being delivered by Batchelor Institute lecturers Liam McManus, Matthew Scott and Alvin Tan, trains students in the area of building construction and civil construction and also on the use of an excavator, skid steer loader, wheeled front end loader and backhoe loader.

The training, which started on January 30th, combines building and civil construction courses and is project based. This means that, whilst the students are gaining key skills, the local community of Barunga is also receiving upgrades.

One of these projects included the construction of an 8m x 6m concrete slab for the relocation of an old tractor opposite the Barunga festival stage. It also sees the construction of a pathway between the council office and the CDP Activity Centre, the re-construction of the pond for the Memorial Park and the construction of a BBQ area at Manyallaluk (Eva Valley).

“These groups are very keen to be involved in these combined courses.  They love those machines, and they are looking for the projects where they can actually use their skills,” said Batchelor Institute senior lecturer Alvin Tan.

“A few of them have a fair knowledge and skills in operating those machines so by attending this course they will be able to be trained properly”

These projects were requested by Community Development Program (CDP) Senior Activity Supervisor Sommer Meadows, who brought in Batchelor Institute to deliver these valuable courses in community.

“Barunga and Manyallaluk men are always wanting to go one step further.  Everything we do here prepares them for the future and job opportunity.  I am always proud of all of them,” said Ms Meadows.

Batchelor Institute construction courses help students develop skills and knowledge that prepares them for work in the industry. As well as hands-on skills, students are also trained in workplace health and safety, reading plans, communicating in the workplace and working within a team.

Link to story on RoperGulf Regional Council website