The “sea-worthy” VW Beetle raft crafted by the Rio Tinto Alcan BSL apprentices won the most creative rafte at the Gladstone Harbour Festival Raft Race.
The “sea-worthy” VW Beetle raft crafted by the Rio Tinto Alcan BSL apprentices won the most creative rafte at the Gladstone Harbour Festival Raft Race. Submitted

Charity wins from rafters

THE creative skills of 12 apprentices from Rio Tinto Alcan’s Gladstone operations have provided a welcome boost for a local charity that provides support to youth and young families.

As part of their orientation program, the Yarwun and Boyne Smelters Limited apprentices spent time honing their new trade skills to prepare a raft from each site for the NRG Harbour Festival Raft Race held on Good Friday.

While neither of the apprentices’ rafts gained a place in the race, the very “sea-worthy” VW Beetle raft creation from the BSL apprentices was awarded “most creative raft” and the apprentices received a $350 cash prize for their efforts.

The apprentices chose to donate their prize to Roseberry Community Services, a local organisation which provides support to youth and families.

First year mechanical apprentice Kate Gray said the organisation was chosen because it appealed to the apprentices.

“We chose Roseberry Community Services because they provide much-needed services to people in our age bracket that aren’t as fortunate as us,” Kate said.

Trades Training Advisor Paul Camman said he was inspired by the generosity of the apprentices.

“The annual raft race fits perfectly with the culmination of our first year apprentice orientation program and building of the raft is not only a fun activity where the apprentices can use their newly learnt trade skills, but is an excellent team building exercise. I was truly inspired when the apprentices approached me wanting to donate their prize to a local charity,” Paul said.

Roseberry Community Services general manager Margaret Mc

Donald said the organisation was delighted to receive the funds.

“We were ecstatic that the BSL apprentices thought of us for this donation. The money will be put to good use to purchase an anatomical torso for demonstrations in the Healthy Habits youth development program,” Ms McDonald said.