2009 Rivers Region Try a Trade
3rd & 4th June 2009
“Trade Careers can be challenging, lasting and lucrative”
Proudly Supported by:
Try’aTrade – Background:
Try’aTrade is a Worldskills Australia interactive program that allows students to “have a go” at various trade
areas. Professional Tradespeople and Apprentices provide accurate career information and interactive skill
focused activities directly relating to the trade.
Try’aTrade has been a success in the Northern Territory since commencing in 2003 and is organised by a
consortium of organisations comprising of Charles Darwin University (CDU), Group Training NT (GTNT)
and Department of Education and Training (DET). The Try’aTrade consortium supports the development of
regional committees such as Rivers Region Youth Development Service (RRYDS) to assist with the
expansion and delivery of the program across the Northern Territory.
2009 Rivers Region Try’aTrade Committee:
Fiona Smith: Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Jim Bitossi: Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Terry Radford: Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Debra Young: Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Haidee McKittrick Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Trisha Mellow: Charles Darwin University (CDU)
Amanda Sandery: Charles Darwin University (CDU)
Mim Smith: Group Training NT (GTNT)
Lisa Dodds: Group Training NT (GTNT)
Sandy McCue: Department of Education & Training (DET)
Cathy Preddy: Department of Education & Training (DET)
Bernadette Dulihanty Department of Education & Training (DET)
Bill Daw: Department of Education & Training (DET)
Zoe Walker: Department of Education & Training (DET)
Marilyn McPherson: Chamber of Commerce
Purdey Eades: Chamber of Commerce
2009 Try’aTrade event was held at the Department of Education, Katherine Regional Training Centre,
Second Street, Katherine on Wednesday 3rd June, 2009 between 8.30am – 2.30pm.
The second day, Thursday 4th June 2009 followed on with a “Kaleidoscope of Careers” which enabled
students a similar experience to day one, with local careers as the main focus. This allowed many students
who had travelled from remote community schools to participate in a number of additional exhibits and
experience firsthand both trades and alternate career pathways that are available in the Rivers Region.
The Try a Trade event hosted 168 students on the 3rd June from 7 Northern Territory High Schools and
Community Education Centres. Try a Trade offered students the opportunity to partake in the following
Try’aTrade Industry Activity Areas
Butchery Commercial Cookery
Plumbing Conservation & Land Management
Rural Operations Horticulture
Emergency Services & Policing Security Operations
Heavy Vehicle & Machinery Mechanical Automotive
Financial Services & Accounting Power & Water
Design & Structural Draftsman NT Government
Nutrition Australian Apprenticeships NT
The program aims to address the critical skill shortage currently faced by our trade industries, and regional
businesses, by providing a variety of educational initiatives, which introduce students to general concepts
and skills associated with employment within the trade industries. It also provides an opportunity to
facilitate partnerships between schools, industry, employers, local community partnerships, government
departments and training organisations.
All Secondary Schools and Community Education Centres Principals across the Northern Territory Rivers
Region received an invitation for their students to participate, and an open invitation was posted on the
Department of Education & Training’s website. Try’aTrade notifications were also posted on the Charles
Darwin University’s Calendar and RRYDS’s website. Schools interested in participating needed to
complete a registration and student media release form.
Participating NT Secondary Schools / CEC’s
Katherine High School. Katherine (65)
KHS Work Ready Class Katherine (19)
St Joseph’s College. Katherine (28)
Lajamanu School. Lajamanu (12)
Kalkaringi School. Kalkaringi (16)
Wugularr School. Wugularr (12)
Pine Creek School. Pine Creek (8)
Warruwi School. Goulburn Island (8)
Total Student Attendance: 168.
Number of Participating Schools: 7.
* Note: Barunga School was schedule to attend with 10 students but were unable to make it on the day.
Students were separated into groups of up to ten (10), and rotated through twenty (20) industry sessions,
with each session lasting 25mins. Industry sessions were delivered by qualified tradespeople and
apprentices. Sessions provided engaging practical, hands on activities, up to date career information and
OH&S requirements for their relevant industry.
In each of the areas the students worked on a variety of practical activities; for example:
Australian Apprenticeships NT: Students discussed what is involved in an
apprenticeship, training options within our region and asked questions and
gathered information sheets on a selection of trade and careers pathways.
Butchery: Students experienced how to mince steaks and make sausages
(which were then used as part of the BBQ lunch), and discussed how to identify of
a variety of cuts from a side of beef.
Commercial Cookery: VET students from Darwin High School (DHS) along with
their Charles Darwin University (CDU) lecturers demonstrated to students safe
food principals with an opportunity for students to make a variety of meat & fruit
kebabs. DHS students coordinated, cooked and served the BBQ lunch for up to
200+ people on both days.
Conservation & Land Management: Students learnt about the duties of a
Ranger, and how best to manage and use a variety of equipment, including
whipper snipper’s, brush cutters and crocodile traps. Students identified wildlife
from within the parks and discussed pest management plans.
Childcare: Students discussed a range of activities designed for 0-5yrs and how
these are programmed each day. Students also discussed hygiene standards and
practised changing a nappy with a baby doll.
Electrical: Students were able to participate in the use of the high bucket truck
used for electrical power line repairs and maintenance. Students were provided
with wiring diagrams and assistance to complete wiring systems that then
operated a series of switches and electrical circuits.
Financial & Accounting Services: Students view a visual presentation on
careers in today’s financial sector, and participated in documentation of fuel usage
and estimations for a factious transport business.
Hair Dressing: Students were guided and performed professional up styles using
professional salon products, bobby pins, hair bands, hair dryers, straighter,
crimpers and clips. Students also learnt about colouring and the safety
precautions when using these chemicals.
Health: Students were able to participate in a variety of activities performed in
remote community health centres on a daily basis including how to manage
personal hygiene in community.
Heavy Vehicle Machinery: Students used computerised engine diagnostics
systems on a laptop to troubleshoot mechanical problems with heavy vehicle
Horticulture: Students participated in the planting of seedlings and were able to
experience and learn how to graft mango trees.
Mechanical Automotive: Students were guided through a visual and interactive
display of engine performance, electronic ignition, emission control and
mechanical systems, whilst being provided the latest information on technology
advancements. Students practiced how to perform general maintenance functions
such as checking oils etc.
Nutrition: Students discussed the role of a nutritionist and participated in
activities showing students how to read food labels and measure the amount of
sugars in a variety of everyday products. Students discussed healthy food
NT Government: Careers within the NT Government were discussed, along with
entry requirements and opportunities for future career progression. An interactive
visual display showcased a variety of departments with annual apprenticeships on
NT Police: Students discussed the variety of career paths within the NT Police
Service. Students learnt how to take fingerprints and use a hand held radar.
Power & Water: Students discussed the distribution of high voltage power, and
were able to participate in an activity using powerlines distribution airbrakes.
Plumbing: Students learnt how to remove and replace taps and tap washers,
checking for water leaks. Students also learnt and practiced how to install and
repair a household septic system.
Rural Operations: Students discussed the safety requirement associated with
the use of chemicals and fertilizers and learnt how to mix chemicals and use a
commercial sprayer fixed to a quad.
Structural Draftsmen & Design: Students experienced how to use Construction
& Design (CAD) drawing programs, and experimented with technical drawing and
measurements commonly used within the construction industry.
Security Operations: Students discussed the duties and variety of task
performed by security guards, and experienced how to use security surveillance
Promotion and Media Coverage:
The Try’aTrade event information was posted on the DET website, DET Enews, GTNT Website, GTNT
Newsletters, RRYDS Website as well as in a media release given to the Katherine Times. A local
Katherine Times photographer was present throughout Try’aTrade and photographed a variety of trade
exhibits and student activities. Katherine Community Radio featured a new story with student’s interview
and comments following the event. Charles Darwin University posted the information on the CDU website
and Calendar. Follow up media coverage included a feature article in the Katherine Times newspaper and
a presentation on ABC Radio’s Country Hour on 12th June 2009. Further coverage is scheduled with the
NT News upon completion of Darwin and Alice Springs events.
The Official Launch:
Ms Sandy McCue, Regional Director, Department of Education & Training officially opened the Rivers
Region 2009 Try a Trade on Wednesday 3rd June, 2009 at 12 noon.
Official List of Invitees:
Honourable Paul Henderson MLA Chief Minister. Minister Education and Training.
Dr Christopher Burns MLA Minister for Business & Employment.
Hon Rob Knight MLA Minister for Public Employment.
Hon Gerald McCarthy MLA Minister for Young Territorians
Ms Sharon Hillen Office of the Chief Minister – Katherine.
Mr Willem Westra van Holthe MLA Member for Katherine
Mrs Anne Shepherd Mayor of Katherine
Mrs Wendi Masters Department of Education & Training
Ms Sandi McCue Department of Education & Training
Ms Cathy Preddy Department of Education & Training
Mr Roger Bryett Department of Education & Training
Ms Gillian McDonald Department of Education & Training
Miss Zoe Walker Department of Education & Training
Ms Sharni Wilson Department of Education & Training
Ms Jen Coad Department of Education & Training
Mr Barrie Goedecke Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Ms Jann Buckland Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Ms Cheriece Kemp Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Mr Graham Newhouse Northern Territory Government
Ms Morag Dwyer Northern Territory Government
Ms Kerri Watkins Northern Territory Government
Mr Robin E Smith Northern Territory Government
Ms Caryn Chalk Northern Territory Government
Ms Bernadette Dulihanty Northern Territory Government
Mr Paul Blare Northern Territory Government
Mr Tony Freshwater Northern Territory Government
Mr Mark Ridgeway Indigenous Coordination Centre
Ms Clare Lumb Indigenous Coordination Centre
Mr Geoff Brooks CEO Katherine Town Council
Mr Trevor Ford Alderman Katherine Town Council
Mrs Jodi Locke Alderman Katherine Town Council
Mr Bill Daw Alderman Katherine Town Council
Ms Toni Tapps Coutts Alderman Katherine Town Council
Ms Chrissy Harris Alderman Katherine Town Council
Ms Samantha Hohn Katherine Town Council
Ms Terri Jackson Victoria Daly Shire
Ms Jacqui Watkinson Victoria Daly Shire
Ms Leigh Lesley Victoria Daly Shire
Mr Michael Berto Roper Golf Shire
Lara Brennan Roper Golf Shire
Mr Wayne Buckley Roper Golf Shire
Mr Ian Lackington Australian Apprenticeships Northern Territory
Ms Trisha Kohlweg Charles Darwin University
Ms Amanda Sandery Charles Darwin University
Ms Natalie Ellis Charles Darwin University
Mr Brian Heim Charles Darwin University
Mr Tim Biggs Charles Darwin University
Ms Vicki Williams Charles Darwin University
Mrs Fiona Smith Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Mr Jim Bitossi Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Mr Terry Radford Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Ms Haidee McKittrick Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Ms Debra Young Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Mr Mike Harrison Group Training Northern Territory
Ms Mim Smith Group Training Northern Territory
Ms Lisa Dodds Group Training Northern Territory
Mr Chris Young Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory
Ms Marilyn McPherson Chamber of Commerce Northern Territory
Ms Belinda Green Charttes
Mr Joe Berner Cycad International Gardens
Mrs Karen Berner Cycad International Gardens
Mr Andrew Oliver Taminmin High School
Ms Bernadette Wallace Beauty Works
Ms Pauline Meehan Jobfind
Ms Lorraine Jackson Jobfind
Ms Peta Romeyn Katherine Isolated Children’s Service
Mr Clive Pollack Nitmiluk Tours
Ms Tessa Pollack Nitmiluk Tours
Mr Wes Miller Jalwyn Association
Mr Preston Lee Jalwyn Association
Mr Rick Fletcher Kalano Association
Mr Barry King Northern Land Council
Mr John Cummings Narmco
Ms Teresa Cummings Narmco
Ms Judith Locke Katherine Community Radio
Ms Tegan Fodder Katherine Times
Mr Craig Lambert Katherine Mitre 10
Mr Gary Giles Starfish
Mr Kevin Grey NT Technology
Mrs Brenda Miles NT Technology
Ms Mel Raynor Territory Craft Katherine
Mr Gregory Dowd Police, Fire & Emergency Services
Warren de With Rod & Rifle
Samantha Kuze ANZ Bank
Katherine High School
Principal Mr Ken Barnes
VET Coordinator Mr Perry Schafer
Ms Jodi Matthews
Careers Adviser Ms Pam Kahl
Senior Teachers Ms Rae Brown
Katherine Group Schools
Principal Mr Stuart Dwyer
Asst Principal Ms Trish Hyland
Ngukurr Community Education Centre
Principal Mr Ric Eade
Senior Teacher Mr Robert Fullbrook
Minyerri Community Education Centre
Principal Mr Neil Gibson
Senior Teacher Mr Alex Duckett
Jilkminggan Community Education Centre
Principal Mr Jeanette Leather
Wugularr Community Education Centre
Principal Ms Sue Hearnden
Senior Teacher Ms Alicia Holt
Barunga Community Education Centre
Principal Mrs Anita Camfoo
Senior Teachers: Mr David Arnold
Mr Peter Carlson
Borroloola Community Education Centre
Principal Mr Geoff Perry
Senior Teacher Ms Rachel Kelly
Lajamanu Community Education Centre
Principal Ms Nicky Fammartino
Senior Teacher Mr Rupert Hunt
Kalkarindji Community Education Centre
Principal Mr Stephen Pelizzo
Senior Teacher Mr Jeff Parker
Katherine School of the Air
Principal Ms Jen Coad
Asst Principal Ms Sally Thomas
Senior Teacher Ms Kate Dixon
St Josephs College – Katherine
Principal Mrs Anne Weygood
Asst Principal Mr Peter Moloney
Senior Teacher Mr Kerryn Lines
124 students correctly completed event surveys at the completion of day 1.
Q1. What Trades & Activities Interested You the Most?
(Some students selected more than one response)
Q2. What did you enjoy most about Try a Trade?
Comments from the students in relation to this question were as follows:
“More hands on stuff & different skills and qualifications needed for each trade”;
“Learning about different trades, what you can do in them and where they can take
“Try different things”;
“Enjoyed making the sausages for lunch”;
“I got to experience different apprenticeships and careers and it really helped me
open my eyes to bigger options”;
“Good time”; “Seeing old friends and learning a few good things”; “Everyone coming
together and sharing the experience”;
“How we can see what is out there when we finish school. I'm glad that I came”;
“The different trades, the people”;
“It was educational and very hands on”;
“I enjoyed it when we got to try things out rather than just listening to people
“Trying new things”;
“Listening to people talk about different jobs”;
“Going to all the activities and the information”;
“Enjoyed making the sausages for lunch”;
“Learning about all the cool things”;
2 students commented that missing school was what they enjoyed the most.
Q3. What did you enjoy least about Try a Trade?
Comments from the students in relation to this question were as follows:
“Waiting for lunch”;
“The heat as too hot’;
“Getting zapped at power projects”;
“Weren't many jobs I am interested in”;
“This survey. Just Jokes”;
“Waiting for ages”;
“That I didn’t get to speak to anyone about nursing, because it is something I'm
very interested in”;
“We had a certain amount of time to complete the experiences”;
“Nothing. I think it was all pretty good”;
“Some things I wasn't interested in. We were also late so I missed most things”;
“The ones I wasn't interested in”;
“Went too long”;
“Some bits were boring”; “
Some of the stalls went for too long”;
Q4. What Trade Activity taught you the most?
Q5. Did the day assist you in understanding how to get a Trade?
Q6. Are you considering a Traineeship or School Based
Q7. Please rate the event on presentation, information and trade activities
Nil response was selected for: Poor or Very Poor.
Feedback & Comments:
The feedback received from the Principals, teachers, industry and students was extremely positive, with
several of the trade exhibitors discussing how they can build on the experiences and adapt their activities
to incorporate additional activities for the students in 2010. Enhanced preparation for our skills coaches
with the development of the Careers Information Pathways kits will ensure the most up to date information
on training packages and entry level requirements is available and discussed with students. Several
school teachers made comment on the “Realistic Value and Meaningful outcomes” of such an event for
their students, with the most common feedback being how the schools will be able to value add to this
event and continue these discussions back in their classrooms.
Following on from this Try a Trade, several remote schools participated in industry tours whilst in the town
which further supported their students exposure and learning experiences. All of the organisations,
tradespeople and skills coaches who participated in the 2009 Rivers Region Try a Trade said that they
were happy to offer their staff and resources where possible to support for the event into the future, with a
further 3 organisation approaching the committee with regards to participation in 2010.
Survey Prize Winners:
Apple IPOD & Dock Miss K.J… St Josephs College.
iTunes Gift Voucher
Apple IPOD & Miss K.T… Katherine High School.
iTunes Gift Voucher
Drawn by: Ms Mandy Sandery of Charles Darwin University, in the presence of committee members.
In 2006, the Darwin Try’aTrade CDU committee member was approached by the secondary schools to hold
an event in Katherine, enabling all of the Schools and Community Education Centres in the Rivers Region
to participate. It was discussed that the event would need to incorporate the Trades that valued and have
employment opportunities within this region. In 2007 Mr Jim Bitossi the Local Community Partnership’s
Project Officer for Rivers Region Youth Development Services was invited and attended the Darwin event.
From this formation and with the support of the Darwin Try a Trade Committee Members, Rivers Region
Youth Development Service, Group Training Northern Territory and Charles Darwin University the
inaugural 2008 Rivers Region Try a Trade event was hosted in Katherine at the Charles Darwin University
Katherine Rural Campus with great success. For 2009 the event was held at the Department of Education,
Katherine Regional Training Centre, Second Street, Katherine.
The enthusiasm, along with the high levels of participation in this Try a Trade by remote schools (some of
which had to fly in to be able to attend due to distance and road conditions) indicates very heavily that there
is an enormous need for this event to continue into the future. Especially for remote communities the
opportunity for these students to be exposed to such an array of career pathways within the trades is an
essential part of successful career transition planning and ultimately their transition from school to work.
Recommendations from 2008 with 2009’s Actions (noted in blue)
Request a member from Department Education and Training Katherine Office join the steering
committee. This was successfully achieved with Ms Sandy McCue, Regional Director DET joining
the steering committee and regularly attending meetings.
Consider alternative venues for 2009 (Less walking between exhibits) Event held for 2009 at the
Katherine Regional Training Centre, Second Street, Katherine.
Adjust the events timing and bring forward to the end of term 2 or early term 3. Event held in week
8 Term 2 of 2009.
Not to host the event in the first or last week of the school term due to student attendance.
Achieved with new dates for 2009 event.
Have the same number of trade exhibits as allocated student groups. Event scheduled to have one
Consider 25 min for each exhibit as the minimum. Achieved.
Review as a committee in 2009 if we should host the event over a period of 2 days. Review
undertaken in March 2009.
Roster staff and committee members to set tasks on the day. Achieved.
Have remote schools come into town the evening prior to assist with starting all events on time.
Recommendations from 2009 for 2010.
Consider placement of exhibits with high noise levels EG: sirens or vehicles so they are removed
from the main area.
Develop a Careers Information Pathways booklet for each trade / Skills Coaches to utilise.
Keep fruit for morning tea as this worked well for students.
Schedule in a morning tea break for 2010, but shorten lunch time to 40min
Operate Try a Trade in Katherine as a single day event for 2010.
RRYDS to facilitate a “Kaleidoscope of Careers Day” for 2010 (Open up to Yrs 6 & 7 Students)
Continue with thankyou certificates and dinner for exhibitors as it was greatly appreciated and
continues to foster their involvement for future years.
Minutes to include action items list.
RRYDS & DET Regional Director to teleconference with schools to facilitate an event briefing 3-4
Rivers Region Committee Members to attend Darwin 2009 Try a Trade where possible.
Secure additional funding / grants to assist remote schools with the costs of travel and
accommodation to attend.
Special Acknowledgements: (in alphabetical order)
Australian Apprenticeships NT
Chamber of Commerce NT
Charles Darwin University
Department of Education & Training
Goodings & Associates
Group Training Northern Territory
Katherine East Child Care
Katherine Regional Training Centre
NT Police – Katherine
Parks & Wildlife
Power Projects NT
Power & Water
Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Sunrise Health Service
Town& Country Butchers
Tukanap Mango Nursery
Visions Hair Design
2009 Try’aTrade Budget:
Financial acquittals for both Try a Trade on 3rd June 2009 and Kaleidoscope of Careers on 4th June 2009
have been submitted to the relevant funding bodies.
Report prepared by: Mrs Fiona Smith Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Survey Results : Mrs Debra Young Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Financial Treasurer: Mrs Fiona Smith Rivers Region Youth Development Service
Funding Manager: Ms Lisa Dodds Group Training Northern Territory