Youth Scholarships Changing Lives

5 July, 2024
Youth Scholarships Changing Lives

Our Youth Scholarship Program, sponsored by Ballarat Jaguar and Land Rover, provides opportunities for young people to participate in workshops that offer a taste of what rare trades can offer as a career alternative.

So far, we’ve welcomed 15 scholarship recipients to the Rare Trades Centre workshops, where they have explored disciplines such as wood, metal, fashion, and textiles.

One such student is Luke Borg, who is currently studying horticulture. Luke joined the Rare Trades Centre driven by his interest in heritage building restoration and his desire to develop the necessary skills for this work.

A particular focus for Luke is the elaborate carvings found in old churches. Fittingly, his first workshop at the Rare Trades Centre was Olivia O’Connor’s Woodcarving 101 – The Fundamentals, where he learned the basics of handling tools and safely carving a relief panel.

Enthused by this experience, Luke has since renewed his connection with the Ballarat Woodworkers Guild and is now an active member of the group.

“I first joined the Ballarat Woodworkers Guild in 2019,” Luke says. 

“At the time, I was trying to increase my knowledge beyond the school course in building and construction. The Woodworkers Guild offered significant training opportunities. However, COVID disrupted everything.

The Rare Trades Centre courses in traditional trades have renewed my interest in learning traditional woodworking skills. Last May, I attended the workshop Woodcarving 101 - The Fundamentals, which helped me regain interest and rejoin the Guild. 

I think we need these skills because of our traditional buildings and carpentry.”

Luke is continuing his association with the Rare Trades Centre and looks forward to participating in another woodworking workshop. With this foundation and the ongoing support of Guild members, Luke is well-positioned to expand his skills and knowledge and pursue his dream of working in heritage restoration.

Young creatives aged 16–25 can apply for our Youth Scholarship Program, which offers a free place in one of our workshops to support their learning journey.

You might also be interested in