Mildura Weekly : Friday May 2 2014 Vol 8 No 26
www.milduraweekly.com.au 8 Mildura Weekly – 02/05/14 MILDURA District Aboriginal Ser- vices is set to embark on a $1mil- lion upgrade of its Mildura offices. The plans were unveiled this week in the wake of a $500,000 funding injection from the Victo- rian Government. MDAS chief executive Rudolf Kirby said the works will include relocating the organisation’s main reception area to Tenth Street, and linking its family services, and administrative operations more closely to the MDAS Medical Cen- tre. Other works include client in- take and consultation rooms for MDAS’s Family Services, a com- munity hall with training facili- ties, and grassed and landscaped areas. “These improvements we have had on the table for some time and are needed fairly urgently,” Mr Kirby said. “Some of the internal areas that will be upgraded in this work, such as the community hall, haven’t been touched for more than 20 years, so they really need work to improve their functional- ity and appearance. “The project will also allow us to finally re-join our admin- istrative operations and service delivery areas. Currently, admin- istration and corporate staff are separated from the rest of the organisation, across the road in Madden Avenue, so that will be one of the most positive and con- structive benefits of the work.” Member for Mildura Peter Crisp announced the Victorian Government’s share of funding for the project, which came out of the government’s $1billion Re- gional Growth Fund. Mr Crisp the expansion of MDAS illustrated the growing de- mand for support services for Ab- original people in the region. “There has been a 38 percent growth in the Aboriginal popu- lation living in the Mildura area over the last decade, placing extra demands on MDAS to maintain and deliver its services,” he said. “This expansion will enable MDAS to meet the growing local demand for its services.” The Mildura site is the head office for MDAS services in Mil- dura, Swan Hill and Kerang. The organisation has about 150 staff across the three centres and pro- vides health and family services to a potential client base of nearly 5000 people. The redevelopment work is ex- pected to be finished by the end of the year. $1m upgrade for MDAS base • Mildura District Aboriginal Services chief executive Rudolf Kirby, left, with MDAS staff member Keith Hampton, and Member for Mildura Peter Crisp. By VINNIE RODI STAFF, students and community stakeholders celebrated the offi- cial opening of the Mildura Region Trade Training Centre this week, with the project reaching comple- tion after nearly six years of plan- ning and construction. Many turned out for a special ceremony and tour of facilities at the Deakin Trade Training Centre (located at the Mildura Senior Col- lege and one of three facilities that falls under the MRTTC hub), with Member for Mallee Andrew Broad given the honour of opening the new building. Considered ‘state-of-the-art’ and the rival of any trade training facil- ity in the State – works have in- cluded the con- struction of the $8.5million Dea- kin Trade Train- ing Centre, the $750,000 refur- bishment of the hospitality facili- ties at Coomealla High School, the $1.75million refurbishment of the hospitality kitchen and res- taurant and construction of a new Salon for Hair and Beauty at the Riverside Trade Training Centre (St Joseph’s Stadium), and a further $750,000 in upgrades and equip- ment for other local schools. Funds for the $11.6million proj- ect were made available through the Federal Government’s Trade Train- ing Centres in Schools Program, with the aim to help increase the number of students achieving Year 12 or its equivalent by providing access to high-quality facilities and training opportunities, addressing a national skills shortage in tradi- tional trades in- cluding building, hospitality and engineering, and introducing students to a number of new industries. Application for funding was ini- tially lodged back in 2010, with 11 schools and hundreds of students from across the district to now ben- efit from the new facilities. MRTTC project manager John Fitzgibbon said the opening marked a significant milestone in what had been a long journey for all involved. “Reaching this mark, while a fantastic achievement for all con- cerned is only the first step,” he said. “The real challenge now is to ensure that students have access to the wonderful facilities, and that courses conducted provide students with quality pathways that will see them maximise their potential learning outcomes.” Mildura Senior College princi- pal, Andrew Ough, said the $8.5m Deakin Trade Training Centre – the final piece of the overall project – would help cater for up to 1500 stu- dents from Years 7 to 12. “This new building houses fa- cilities for hospitality, building and constructions, furniture and cabinet-making, electro-technology and avionics, engineering, and au- tomotive engineering,” he said. “At the moment we have 200 students utilising the facilities, with that number to grow significantly over the next few years. “This year we tried to keep it manageable while we worked through moving in and a host of other teething issues. “In truth the real work starts now to provide students with the best opportunities possible. “We know that it’s not just facil- ities that make a good education, it comes down to the teachers and the students making the most of those facilities.” Member for Mildura Peter Crisp said the State Government was fully supportive of trade training in sec- ondary schools, saying the MRTTC marked the start of a new era in trade training. “There has been a growing rec- ognition of the need for increased trade training across Victoria,” he said. “This new facility is the start of a new era in trade training. “In some respects our trade training in this region has dragged behind other areas, and I see this facility as being very important to Mildura’s future. “Statewide the Mildura Region Trade Training Centre is as a good or better as anything I’ve seen any- where else.” Federal Member for Mallee An- drew Broad described the MRTTC’s completion as a win for the com- munity. “This facility is first-class,” he said. “All of the schools involved in this project need to be congratulat- ed on such a wonderful result. “Unfortunately there’s a com- mon misconception that Mildura misses out on a lot of Government funding, with this facility proving this is not the case. “When you actually look at what Mildura has received in the past six months with the Sunraysia Modernisation Project and invest- ment in agriculture, this project continues that trend as an invest- ment in skills. “In my opinion there are three things that make a good graduate, their home life – having good fam- ily support – school culture, so hav- ing teachers that give a damn, and facilities. “While the facilities here are now first-class, it now comes down to staff and students to make the most of it. “At the end of the day the fu- ture of Mildura will swing on jobs. While there is value in people re- locating to Mildura in their older years, I don’t want Mildura to be- come a retirement village. “I want it to be a place where there is industry and opportunity, and these new facilities will go a long way in achieving those goals.” Trade Training Centre opens • TRADING FACES: Mildura Secondary College students Jack Stevens, 16, Erica Norris, 17, and Rodney McManus, 17, ABOVE, sharing a recipe for success while fellow Year 11 students Tadhg Noblet, 16, and Brad Rodgers, 16, LEFT, look forward to a building trade career.
Friday April 25 2014 Vol 8 No 25
Friday May 9 2014 Vol 8 No 27