21 March 2017
A group of disadvantaged young people have been given a new lease on life through a construction training initiative set to transform a humble shipping container into a modern information hub for the Caulfield to Dandenong level crossing removal project.
At a training facility in Dandenong South this week, 18 students aged 15 to 27 were busily painting and fitting out a 40-foot shipping container under the guidance of mentors and supervisors involved with the TRYBuild program.
When finished, the information hub will be re-sited to Noble Park where it will be a handy drop-in point for locals and visitors as work to remove level crossings ramps up in Melbourne's South East.
Bill Bardsley, General Manager of Operations at TRY Australia said the project was about giving young people the chance to turn their lives around while realising a long term benefit for the community.
"The pride these students have in the finished product along with personal growth, self-esteem and confidence are priceless. This is a professional build they will show off to family and to their mates."
"When these young people start to back themselves, there is a ripple effect that extends out to parents, families, and to everyone around them."
TRYBuild falls under the umbrella of TRY Australia, one of this country's longest-running social enterprises. The program takes on students who are typically disengaged and have struggled to cope with mainstream education. Others are in the process of building a new life, having come to Melbourne as refugees.
Through real-life projects such as the Noble Park information hub the young people come away with newfound pride, self-confidence, and employability.
On the job training with TRYBuild is backed up with classroom learning allowing students to build their literacy and numeracy skills and work towards a recognised qualification in Building and Construction.
TRY Australia was founded in Melbourne 133 years ago as the TRY Society and continues in its mission to support disadvantaged young people who are 'willing to try and have a go'.
In addition to providing custom-builds for organisations such as the Level Crossing Removal Authority, the organisation works to convert recycled shipping containers into accommodation for the homeless, domestic violence victims or people requiring special care.