With the help of the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslander’s for Work initiative, the Samford Commons building refurbishment project is under way.

Government funding has been provided to Marist 180, enabling fifteen trainees to enrol into the Marist 180 Building the Commons traineeship. Megan Smith-Roberts is the onsite Training and Employment Coordinator, with builder Heath Belford overseeing the hands on concreting, carpentry and building skills experience for the trainees over the twenty week traineeship.

Arriving from all around Australia, two trainees are locals, with the furthest trainee hailing from the Kimberley (WA) area.

Following successful completion of the traineeship, trainees will have achieved Certificate I Construction.

One day each week trainees are in the classroom (Building 11 and future home of the Samford Commons School of Sustainability) to learn building theory and the remaining eighteen weeks trainees receive hands on building experience under the watchful guidance of Heath.

One or two trainees each day are promoted to the role of Leading Hand, depending on the number of jobs being worked on. Each trainee steps into this leadership role, several times over the course of the traineeship. As an integral part of the training, watching out for each other’s safety and coming together as a newly bonded group.

Trainee Tamika is the official Site Delegate and first point for First Aid for the trainees.

Big thanks to Mooey’s Hardware Pet and Landscaping (Samford), Trade Tools and Makita for helping sponsor all the tools, tool belts and everything else the trainees need to get the building refurbishment done right!

The building project underway is at Building 54, on completion to be known as Studio 54.

The old concrete slab was removed both manually with sledgehammers and with the use of two jackhammers. Thanks to Volker Jahnke, Chris Walter and Ross Birge for the loan of the two jackhammers. The concrete pour went ahead on the 17th November 2016, forming the new slab floor for the covered patio seating area.

Many thanks to Chris Walter, Volker Jahnke and Heath Belford for donating the reo-bar, weldmesh, form boxing and accessories needed to enable the concrete pour to go ahead.

A huge thank you to Hanson’s for donating and delivering the concrete. Plus, to Samford Hire in making available the tools necessary to get the slab completed to a sleek finish.

Two seats built from recycled materials and rocks are also to be built by this group of trainees. Each seat base comprises building cages made from stainless steel weld mesh to be filled with river rocks. The seats themselves will be pieces of recycled timber, or perhaps wooden doors repurposed to suit.

Acknowledgement must also be given to Peter Booth our wonderful architect in the background, graciously allowing site plans to be slightly altered as needs and new partners join Samford Commons and transition in slightly different directions to the original blue print.

Watch to see many of the buildings progressively transform over the next fifteen months.

Following successful completion of the traineeship, trainees receive ongoing support over a further six month period. This support encompasses securing an ongoing apprenticeship in the trainee’s chosen field as well as in both life and work skills.

The primary focus of the traineeship is to provide education and skills to help anyone suited and willing to learn, of any age, and of any background.

The next Building the Commons traineeship program starts in March 2017.

Keep up to date on Samford Commons site progress through the Samford Commons Facebook page or visit Marist’s Building the Commons, Samford Facebook page for (almost) daily progress updates.


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