15 Mar 2024

Cobram Anglican Grammar School Celebrates Receiving Major Grant for New Trades Centre

Cobram Anglican Grammar School (Cobram AGS) is delighted to announce that it is among the recipients benefiting from the Albanese Labor Government's Capital Grants Program for non-government schools.

Following an extensive application process spanning well over 12 months, the funding grant of $1.9 million will enable the construction of a state-of-the-art $2.6m Trades Centre which will be situated at the rear of the school. This dynamic space will include open working areas for Senior School robotics, car mechanics, metalwork, and timberwork classes. It will also feature a traditional classroom for theory work.

The Trades Centre will incorporate cutting edge equipment that is best in practice such as laser cutters, welders, Kuka robotics, CNC machines, drones, a water jet cutter, 3D printer and car hoist.

This facility will ensure that students looking to have a career in industries that use the types of equipment listed above will be as well prepared as they can be to enter the workforce. Much of this machinery also requires coding to operate, putting our students at the forefront of rapidly changing technology.

After an extensive application process, Cobram AGS Principal Mr Keith Willett expressed sincere gratitude to all parties involved in securing the significant funding grant, firstly acknowledging the ongoing assistance and support of the Anglican Schools Commission (ASC) for its guidance. In addition to receiving support from the ASC, Mr Willett also acknowledged important assistance from the Victorian Independent Schools Block Grant Authority and the Australian Government Capital Grants Program for non-government schools.

“The ASC has been an enormous supporter of our school for a number of years now and both parties are fully aligned with our strategic objective to expand our school infrastructure. The construction of this Trades Centre will assist Cobram AGS to cater for the needs of all students, whether they have academic or applied learning aspirations,” said Mr Willett.

Mr Ivan McLean, Chief Operating Officer at the Anglican Schools Commission, shared a similar sentiment to Mr Willett.

“This is an important project for our school and will significantly further the already diverse learning opportunities offered at Cobram Anglican Grammar School,” said Mr McLean.

Mr Willett commented that the provision of this Trades Centre will have far reaching community benefits.

"Having a trades facility of this quality on our school site will undoubtedly broaden career choices for students in our region. It is vital that local education remains instrumental in providing productive and healthy outcomes for our community moving forward. Having skilled tradespeople is critical in a rural region such as ours, so we are naturally delighted to be able to provide a facility where young people will have the opportunity to develop these important skills, hopefully leading to a career in something they feel passionately about,“ said Mr Willett.

How will the Trades Centre benefit students?

Students in the lower Senior School will still do Woodwork classes as normal, but will also get a basic introduction to robotics and computer coding. At the upper Senior School level, students will delve into metalwork, welding and automotive classes.

Importantly, the Trades Centre will incorporate traditional hand tools that still serve great purpose in various trades, supplemented by state-of-the-art machinery that is best in practice.

Cobram AGS Careers Coordinator, Mrs Jade Drew, believes the Trades Centre will be an excellent resource for the the school’s growing pathways program.

“As the Careers Coordinator at Cobram AGS, I’m thrilled about the development of our Trades Centre. It's not just about creating opportunities; it's about empowering our students with the practical skills and experiences they need to thrive in the workforce. This will be a gateway to endless possibilities, offering our students a chance to explore and excel in trades that are in demand. It's more than just a facility; it's our commitment to the future success of our students, providing them with the tools to build meaningful careers and contribute to their communities,” said Mrs Drew.

The tender process for the construction of the Trades Centre is well underway, with actual construction anticipated to commence later in 2024, with a plan to open the facility to students in 2025.