By Chris Thomas

If only we could encourage more community partnerships. Here is one that is helping three young enthusiastic young men from Galston High School to start living their dream of getting into the automotive industry, both panel beating/ spray painting, and auto mechanics. The three young fellows, Lachlan West, Luke Constable, and Jerry Featherston are spending each Wednesday at the Dural Men’s Shed working alongside experienced shed members, and as a team they are renovating and restoring a 1979 MINI MINOR.
The partners in this exciting venture are Galston High School, Dural Men’s Shed, Greg Preston, CEO of Australian Association of Progressive Repairers, and also Michael Paag of Concept Paints, each applying their experience and skills and dedicated support to helping to form a bridge for these young men into apprenticeships leading to a career in the automotive industry.
It is fantastic to see them early on a Wednesday morning waiting for the shed to open. Their enthusiasm is obvious, particularly shown when they were overheard one day asking the men if they could work a bit faster to keep up with the boys!! Lachlan wants to get into the panel beating/spray painting business whilst Jerry and Luke want to go into the mechanical area of the industry.
All parties to this venture want to see these young guys succeed and are hoping it is the start of a wider programme that allows other young people get some hands-on experience of their future trade. In this way the shed and the school will be considering how this programme can be replicated with other enthusiastic students.

Celine Kaltoum and Michael Paag of Concept Paints together with Greg Preston of AAPR and the IAME are keen advocates who are contributing personal as well as corporate support to this partnership.
The shed men, whilst not trained mentors, get great rewards themselves in the friendship mentoring that they give and passing on their help from life and career experiences.
If you would like to help this programme in any way or learn more about it then please contact the Dural Men’s Shed on 8989 0000 or via duralmensshed@gmail.com