Opening of Thomas Carr Trades Training Centre

Firstly I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners, the Woiwurung and Wathaurung people and their elders past and present.


Bishop Vincent Long

Andrew Watson- Thomas Carr Principal

Principals and Deputy Principals from neighbouring schools

Representatives from Gordon TAFE

Fellow MP’s (Khalil Eideh)

(parents and students)

It is indeed great to be here today for this opening.

I commend Thomas Carr College and particularly Andrew Watson and his team for all your efforts in delivering this marvellous facility. From the submission writing, the planning and scoping, the build and the final fit out.

I would also like to acknowledge the VET/VCAL staff, under the guidance of TTC manager Peter McCathy, for ensuring that this building comes alive as an effective learning space with the right courses, the right teachers and a positive culture.

Providing access to the VET system, through a partnership with Gordon TAFE, for certificate level 2 and 3 courses, for students in Years 9 to 12 is at the corner stone of building the right environment.


The mission of the Trade Training Centre Program is to improve outcomes for young people.

To increase engagement in learning

To increase retention rates to Year 12

To broaden pathways through vocational training.

Because we know, the reality is, that the longer students engage in formal learning the better their life outcomes.

I am confident that in this school, on this campus, that mission is what drives the leadership and the staff.

The Trade Training Centres program in schools, was designed to address skill shortages in traditional trades and importantly in emerging industries

It was designed to equip schools with the state-of-the-art, industry standard, facilities they need.

As a former principal, I would add that time and time again I have seen, and research has borne out - that a student’s pride in their learning environment leads to increased self-esteem, manifesting in improved student outcomes.

I am sure given the quality of the build we see here today that this building will also deliver on that score.


Seven years ago, when this program started, schools struggled to offer meaningful VET programs.

Today, here at Thomas Carr, students will be benefitting from the Carpentry and Cabinet Making courses offered at this facility. I imagine this facility is also being utlilised by the students in the VCAL program.


These new Trade Training Centres are concrete evidence of Federal Labor’s determination to ensure every young Australian can get the skills they need to succeed, no matter what field they want to build a career in.

The Trade Training Centres in Schools program goes beyond building facilities though; it also encourages schools to work together and with local businesses.

This investment is a win for businesses because Trades Training Centres help ensure students get the skills which local employers need.

Schools are encouraged to work with local employers who can support the schools with expertise, equipment and provide on the job placements, school based apprenticeships and traineeships for students.

I suspect Dallion and the team at WynBay LLEN have played a hand in developing relationships and partnerships to support the school in these facets of the program and in this centre being fully utilised.

The $3.2million Thomas Carr TTC , is part of the Wyndham Cluster. This cluster received funds of $9.42 million resulting in four Trades Training Centres being built at Thomas Carr College, The Grange P-12 College, MacKillop Catholic Regional College and Wyndham Central Secondary College.

This is a great example in cross sectional, network and regional co-operation.

Across the cluster, students will have access to automotive, auto-electrical, bricklaying, carpentry, engineering, electro technology, furniture making and cabinet making courses.


I would like to finish on a pet topic of mine.

Investing in education sends a strong message to students, their families and the community about the high value of education.

The Federal Government’s contribution of $9.42 million to the Wyndham cluster, with $3.2 million for this centre, is part of $1.4 billion funding overall for more than 510 Trade Training Centres benefitting more than 1,290 secondary schools across Australia.

Hundreds of thousands of students are actively participating in training, from agricultural and aeronautical studies to hospitality and engineering studies, across Australia.

Hundreds and thousands of students are receiving those strong messages about their value, the value of education and the value of being lifelong learners.

Once again I congratulate all of those involved in getting this facility delivered and wish all the current and future students, who study here, all the best for the future.

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