Renovating the Thursday Island Boat Club
The Thursday Island Boat Club, a popular centre for youth sports, recreation and community events had long needed revitalising.
Rebuilding the Thursday Island Boat Club and facilities was a long-term aspiration of the community; they knew that upgraded and expanded facilities would give the whole community a refreshed venue for community gatherings. With such a significant project to complete it was quickly identified as a project that could be used to provide a solid pathway from training to employment for Community Development Programme (CDP) participants.
The renovation was a result of a successful collaboration between the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), My Pathway (CDP provider) and the Torres Strait Youth Recreational Sports Association (TSYRSA).
The TSRA Economic Development Portfolio Member, Mr Joseph Elu, said ‘The works will bring the Boat Club back to its former glory and will provide a great venue for community events, particularly those focussed on youth sport and recreational activities that are all located in the same sporting precinct’.
Beginning in December 2015 the project included demolition work, creation of a new toilet block and a large storage shed for boats and other equipment. The existing building was renovated to replace the roof, build a new outdoor deck, and instal a commercial grade kitchen, new ceilings and floor coverings.
With local builder Rob Clarke and his team providing supervision and guidance throughout the renovation and building works, the activity provided the CDP participants with practical on-the-job development and training aligned to the needs of the local building industry. My Pathway mentor, Gavin Bin Juda said ‘Working with ‘Bob’ [John Brown, site Foreman] was good. We got a heap of boys employed which was my goal. Watching and learning about the little things was amazing. I always wondered, how do you do that? And now I know! ’
Taking part in the project also enabled the participants to work toward completion of a Certificate II in Construction Training.
‘The renovation of the club facilities has been an aspiration of the Association for a long time and the Association is very happy that a large proportion of the work will be completed by unemployed youth under the direction of skilled builders,’ said Mr Alan Filewood, President of the TSYRSA.
The project, completed in December 2016, was keenly watched by employers in the local building industry, who approached the Boat Club to recruit suitably skilled people to work on other commercial building sites on Thursday Island and allowing the economic benefits to stay on the Island.
By using this project as a launching platform, 19 CDP participants have gained full-time paid employment and successfully exited the program with a range of new skills, experience and qualifications.