2016 Back to Work Students.


Back to work course STUDENT BLOG 2016


for all the students to gain practical experience in general areas including  Landscaping, laboring. We aim to help the students to gain the skills and confidence in accessing the work force. It is designed to target people who have been out of work for a period of time.

The back to work course is partnered with the Wodonga city council. We are engaging in community projects, to help the students raise their job seeking skills and profile. it has been raising not only there profile but there confidence in a team and themselves.


  • OH@S training
  • measurements and dimensions
  • tools and machinery
  • designing techniques
  • teamwork
  • problem solving
  • communication in and out of the workplace
  • policies and procedures


our first day on site

The first day of communocation out of the site



1st day site inspection and BBQ


Checking out potential materials


pipe set then we smoothed out the gravel with the whacker packer


building head wall for small bridge




Colin came to visit .Bryan working with Dalton

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First wall nearly finished  moving  on to the second

Almost half way and starting 2nd project a smaller pipe crossing .Also have arranged to build form work for the echidna sculpture




Dalton is on Holidays , getting a tan.

Andre, Simon, Aaron and Matt visited Mr Cox at Holbrook, a dry stone waller.

John was quite inspirational showing us the variety of work in his garden. Ranging from walls to sculpture with many design concepts. John has great instructional skills in discussing his work. Putting in a clear way to our group how to build sound structures that may last hundreds of years. He stressed that a stone layer should not be hard on yourself, it is more important to feel after a job is done one has produced work to the best of his or her ability.


An enjoyable trip + we had some VCAL students with us too.



Bit of a worry, our first project is going under. What a test for our 1st job, putting it under water to see if it stands up !   Well done Matt taking photo’s of the flood on Bryan’s old phone.


We visited the Wodonga  TAFE Woodwork Dept. Don Rogers was very helpful as usual and Don Terry helped us to draft a design for the form-work we need to make to construct an Echidna sculpture. We are off to a good start on project number 3. Just need to finish 2 and project 1 when the flood water goes down.




Bryan’s Water dragon !


Unfortunately the water is now going over the bridge and under!


Sumsion Gardens flooding.


Our bridge project remains completely underwater and the poor stone dragon is drowning by the kid’s park. One of the boys decided to play Dragon Slayer while sitting on the dragon stomping its head underwater. So for most of the morning we worked indoors creating the mold for the Echidna head. With effort the boys worked together to create the mold. Now all we have to do is wait for the flood to end.

Next week we expect to pour in the concrete into the mold for the echidna’s head.


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on Thursday the 13th after confirming the dimensions of our steel reinforcements, we begin to mix the concrete in the wheelbarrow to pour the mould for spikes head. we aloud the concrete to set over night. On Friday the 14th efforts  were made to render the subject and apply details to make the features of  spikes  face and head. we added the render while the cement was still green, which we were able to add the spikes and finalise the shape of the nose and the eyes.

Matthew Trebley

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Free BBQ today for Mental health week. Mixing the render by hand after taking off the form work. Good week finished the Echidna’s head. Will need painting. Looking forward to completing the bridge at the park, assuming the flood water stays down, then build the Echidna in the children’s park.



This week Friday was going to be in the metal work Dept using tools and equipment to make the Echidna’s feet/ claws. It all went like clock work with everyone having a hand in the creation of the claws. We finished in half the planned time. Thanks go to Duane.

The previous day we painted the Echidna’s head. It will prove very heavy to shift down to the park. We also dug the foundations for the wing walls on our small bridge in the park. It rose out of the flood like Bryan’s Dragon with no damage at all!

Next week we need to complete the bridge. More stone work. Only 12 days to go.

Andre, Simon, Aaron.





Due to the floods we will complete two projects not three. We have proven to be a good work team, fueled by excellent sausages on bread. Colin came to see the first job finished which was great, can’t have too many foremen on the job.

(Andre the mix master supervising)

Don’t worry we brought you guys a friendly friend named spike. Spike prides himself on his looks. We had a lot of fun making him. Lifting and moving the sculpture was heavy. We have put plants that were going to be thrown out for his spikes (picture 3). If you have giant ant issues spike will deal with them.

Matthew Trebley



Last day today. All five students Graduated with four attending on the day.

A small group celebrated their achievements. The days proceedings included Wodonga city providing a BBQ. Speeches and the issuing of qualifications.

Big thanks to Mr Colin Timmins our Centrecare volunteer, Don, Duane and Jessie from the woodwork and metal work departments and Grahame from Hort for allowing us to borrow equipment.

The excellent partnership with Wodonga City continues to be of great benifit to our students and our community.

All students have plans in place with follow up support from the TAFE space Job centre.

Well done everybody and the class of 2016.










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Hi Bryan,

I haven’t had a chance to put this online yet. We played it last week on the Mornings program. Thanks for the opportunity to come to Wodonga tafe, it was great to hear about your project. Unfortunately I couldn’t fit everyone into the 5 minute clip, but I would love to come back and record more of the group as the project develops.


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