The Australia Pacific Training Coalition’s (APTC) carpentry students in Vanuatu translated their classroom learning into community work by installing pelmets as part of the roof structure in the local community hall in Mele-Waisisi. Pelmets are often an overlooked part of a building structure that provide a smooth finish to construction, concealing curtain rods and the like.
APTC carpentry trainer, Gail Tamakam, identified that the hall would largely benefit from some refurbishment and saw it as a good opportunity for students to contribute their skills.
"It's a win-win situation for these students and the community. Students have the chance to practically install pelmets and Mele-Waisisi have proper pelmets for their community hall,” she said.
Mele-Waisisi church elder, Graham Tasi said it wasn’t until the trainer recognized the need for new pelmets that he realized it was time for an upgrade.
“I did not realise our community hall needed pelmets until it was raised by Ms Tamakam,” the church elder remarked.
“It has been a discussion for quite some time to upgrade our community hall and we appreciate APTC’s approach to install these pelmets, which is the beginning of more works to be done.”
APTC Country Director for Vanuatu and Nauru, Ms Anna Naupa, said the students showed their practical skills by undertaking the task of building and installing pelmets, and their social responsibility by giving something back to the community.
“APTC values these opportunities for our students to participate in these community projects and make a positive impact in the communities we live amongst,” Ms Naupa said.
APTC’s carpentry students (Certificate III level) constructed and installed the pelmets for the community hall as part of their practical assessments. The students – five ni-Vanuatu, one Tongan and ten i-Kiribati nationals - are in their final stages of completing their course. The Australian Government, through APTC, supports skills development across Vanuatu and the Pacific.
A church service was held last week to celebrate the newly installed pelmets at Mele-Waisisi community with the students and trainer present.