In a heart-warming display of community spirit and generosity, the Australian Industry Trade College (AITC) Ipswich Year 10 students delivered a truly inspiring project: the refurbishment of a new playground for the Ipswich East Primary School Outside School Hours Care (OSHC). 

The AITC Gift of Giving Project has many advantages by giving students an insight into what is expected of them when going out to work experience and hands-on experience with tools. 

In the case of the Ipswich East OSHC playground project, it showcases the power of collaboration and creativity in transforming a space into a vibrant haven for children to learn, play, and grow. 

Melanie Hanson, coordinator of Ipswich East Primary School OSHC, has been a witness to the incredible transformation brought about by the AITC Ipswich students.

She expressed her gratitude by saying, “It’s honestly breathtaking! The Gift of Giving Project has not only provided our children with an amazing playground but has also shown them the value of community, kindness, and the spirit of giving.” 

Melanie’s words resonate with the larger message behind this initiative: the impact of small actions can radiate far beyond their immediate scope.  

“This project serves as a reminder that when young individuals come together with a shared purpose, they can create something truly extraordinary.” 

AITC Operations Manager David Breeze shared that the playground project came about from a partnership between the AITC and the Ipswich East Primary OSHC.  

Melanie Hanson, OSHC Coordinator, has employed several young people from the AITC Ipswich school in school-based apprenticeships and reached out to the AITC for help regarding the play area.  

“We are a not-for-profit service. Unfortunately, we are unable to have extra funds so I reached out as a community connection to the AITC to come and use our play area as a blank canvas — so the AITC young people had an incredible opportunity to build something unique.” 

To tie this in with work experience expectations Melanie was a client for the AITC students, “I gave them a brief of how we wanted the space to look. The OSHC children were also part of it, their voice was involved, they put forward what they would like.

“The AITC young people went away, worked in groups, and drew up several plans,” said David.

Melanie visited the AITC Ipswich school and students presented their ideas to me one afternoon which was super exciting.

“Their ideas were approved by Queensland Education because OSHC is on the school’s grounds.”

Driven by their passion for giving back to the community and a desire to create a positive impact, the AITC Ipswich students embarked on a journey that would see a playground area transformed into a haven of joy and imagination.

Carla McCarthy Principal at the ATIC shared that “the students’ vision extended beyond a mere playground refurbishment; they aimed to create a space that would nurture children’s creativity and physical activity”.

“The students have set a shining example, demonstrating that through acts of kindness, we can collectively give back to our community,” Carla added.

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This story also appears in the Ipswich Tribune (subscription required).