Recently, not-for-profit organisations, ETC, and ShoreTrack co-hosted an event to officially launch an exciting new industry space. The space aims to provide support to local youth with hands-on training in metal fabrication.
With extensive experience in youth enrichment and skills development, Nambucca valley locals Jill Ashley and Paul ‘Fatty’ Ireland have had a lifelong commitment to community youth services.
Through their involvement with TAFE, Jill and Paul were approached by BackTrack – an organisation offering a similar program to inland regional communities.
“We were approached to start a coastal version of their very successful program. We were really keen to do that, and we thought it was a great opportunity to focus on skills development for young people,” said Jill.
Jill and Paul quickly got to work on launching ShoreTrack, and for the past 15 months, have been supporting young people in the Nambucca and Bellinger Valleys.
ETC reinforces our not-for-profit charity status each year through our philanthropic commitment to the community.
ShoreTrack was one of the six fantastic community organisations that ETC supported during the 2021/2022 financial year and they received $117,000 in funding.
One of ETC’s Youth Advisors, Tracy Pocock, had the opportunity to be a part of the nomination process for the funding support.
“Working in the Transition to Work youth service myself, I work with young people in Nambucca Heads, Bowraville and Macksville, which I’m very passionate about. So when I heard about this amazing new program and how their goals aligned with ours, I was eager for us to work alongside each other,” said Tracy.
ShoreTrack is committed to developing the skills, self-confidence and resilience of marginalised young people in the community through connecting their personal interests to local industry.
The innovative metal fabrication industry space, ‘The Shed’, has been officially launched by ShoreTrack, assisted by the funding from ETC. The tools local youth can expect to find within ‘The Shed’ include a pan break – used for bending thin sheet metal, a metal cutting guillotine, a plasma cutter, a linisher – used to polish materials, and Oxy LPG welding equipment.
“These sorts of machines are used down at Express Coaches, Midcoast trucks, and other areas within the industrial estate,” said Paul.
“The students can create some small components, and they can be used in the workforce by one of our industry partners, such as Express Coaches. So, whilst they are learning, they can still be a part of that journey of making a bus or trailer safer.”
“The support from ETC has also allowed us to purchase personal protective equipment for the site. We are very safety conscious around here, as we are trying to replicate industry sites, we set very high standards around safety.”
“The wonderful support of ETC and the community has allowed us to build to where we are now. We’re so happy with what we’ve achieved over the past 15 months – not only with the shed, but the outcomes of our young people,” said Jill.
Tracy said she was already seeing the ShoreTrack program’s benefits for the local community.
“Some of the young people we work with here at ETC also participate in ShoreTrack’s program – and it’s completely changed their lives. Seeing them happy and working in this space was so nice to see,” Tracy said.
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