Trades Skills Centre


The journey began in 2013 when the opportunity arose for Katanning Senior High School in conjunction with Gnowangerup, Kojonup and Wagin District High Schools, to apply for DEEWR Round 5 Federal funding to refurbish a current workshop facility to industry specifications. The Great Southern Trade Skills Centre proposal targeted improving Year 12 attainment and improving career options for students, in skills shortage areas with low socio economic schools being a priority in the funding arrangements. In August that year our application was successful and $2,000,000 was allocated for the project.

We are very appreciative of the assistance from Stephen Finch at the Department of Education Statewide Delivery and Planning directorate along with Principal Consultant Warren Grellier. They provided ongoing advice and support as we developed our application based on a refurbishment model rather than a stand-alone facility. Local community groups and businesses associated with the school through the Workplace Learning Program established that Certificate II courses in Automotive, Engineering, Metal Fabrication and Horticulture were areas of demand within the Katanning region.

After formal tender processes, Roberts Gardiner Architects and BGC won the tender. They had worked on previous refurbishments projects within the school in building our Administrative and Student Services Block. Staff found Architect Scott Gardiner very accommodating of all suggestions and our building supervisor Brad Italiano from BGC ensured that we had minimal interruption to the normal running of the school. The Trades Skills Centre project timeline in 2015 stayed on schedule and the school was well placed to offer Certificate II Engineering and Automotive to Year 11 students in 2016.

The Honourable Karen Andrews MP Federal Member for McPherson and the Honourable Rick Wilson MP Federal Member for O’Connor joined us on Tuesday 9 August 2016 for the opening of our Great Southern Trade Skills Centre. Along with local businesses who partake in the Work Place Learning program, neighbouring schools, community representatives and staff and students.

Deputy Principal Trevor Carruthers and Teacher in Charge of Design and Technology Luther McPhee, also a qualified Engineer, took charge of the internal equipment configuration and fit out. Trevor as an ex Design and Technology teacher had a great time selecting equipment with Luther, ensuring the lathes, welding equipment and exhaust systems all met industry specifications and Certificate II course requirements. We also acknowledge the work of Patrick Kennedy Manager of Corporate Services with regards to budget management and purchasing requirements during the build.

The collective work of staff at Katanning Senior High School brought the project to fruition. We now have a home for the purple Holden ute that local Holden Dealer Adrian Edwards donated to the school, students can now develop skills and understandings as they complete the Units of Competency for the Certificate in Engineering in a modern industry specified facility.