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Cape Cod meets Bell Street through Ticket To A Trade program

26 Jun 2015

Job-ready skills training is a fundamental principle at Melbourne Polytechnic, and this was demonstrated in retro sixties style recently when the ‘Ticket To A Trade’ Program presented ten Cape Cod outdoor chairs to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Thirty resourceful Ticket To A Trade students, across foundation and intermediate Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) levels, produced 10 Cape Cod chairs made of kiln dried treated pine and painted a thoughtfully camouflage-esque, bushland green.

With small fanfare and great enthusiasm, the chairs were presented to Monique Bosland, Housing Manager, and Bill Grimer, Team Manager, Maintenance Team, from Preston Housing, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) at Melbourne Polytechnic’s Heidelberg campus on 11 June, 2015.

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Cape Cod chairs were made in collaboration with DHHS, who provided a design brief then worked with the students to finetune the design and also donated the cost for the materials. The students managed all aspects of the process, including liaising with DHHS, making patterns based on the final design, ordering materials and building prototypes.

Monique and Bill from DHHS were also on hand at the grand unveiling of the completed chairs, partaking in the fabulous spit-roast (neatly followed by cheesecake) and presenting certificates to the students.

This is not the first time the ‘Ticket To A Trade’ program has worked in partnership with DHHS. A practical community project is an integral part of the program, which is designed to give students hands-on exposure to twelve different building trades, including bricklaying, electrical, plumbing and plastering. This gives the students the opportunity to try out different potential careers before deciding which direction they will take.

Previous students have built desks, workstations and tables for DHHS, and also refurbished the signage at the Olympic Village shopping centre in Heidelberg.

“At the end of the program, all students will have a Construction Induction (CI) Card, which enables them to work on any construction site in Australia,” says Brett Hoggard, Teacher, Vocational Pathways, Youth Unit.

“They can then choose whether they will go on to a pre-apprenticeship course or do another VCAL course. The course is about 80 percent hands on work, so these students really know what’s involved with their potential career path when they’ve finished.”

The chairs will be donated to the Tarakan Housing Estate and the Eric Street Housing project in Preston. Eric Street has recently been proclaimed a winner in the DHHS ‘Victoria in Bloom’ awards for best common area garden.

The ‘Victoria in Bloom’ garden competition recognises the gardening achievements of public and community housing tenants, who are enhancing the quality of their homes and communities. Eric Street’s common area garden is about to be all the more comfortable with the addition of Melbourne Polytechnic’s Cape Cod chairs.

Kyle Dimkovski, Ticket To A Trade intermediate student, has loved the carpentry Cape Cod chair project and is now looking forward to moving onto the next trade in the Ticket-to-a-Trade program.

“I’m rapt to have the opportunity to pick up the skills and knowledge needed to make these chairs, and we’re very proud that the chairs are going to be used by DHHS for use in public housing areas,” he said at the presentation.

What is a Cape Cod chair?

The Cape Cod chair is a timeless beauty. A classic look of relaxation for everyone - the rich, famous and poor and unknown. The extra wide armrests accommodate a drink or two, the overhang of your weekend newspaper and will even hold a plate of scrambled eggs with room for cutlery and coffee!

The first Cape Cod chair was designed in1903, by Thomas Lee while holidaying in Westport, New York, USA, in the Adirondack Mountains. He had a need for outdoor chairs for his summer home and tested his early efforts on his family.


Media enquiries should be directed to Melbourne Polytechnic Communications Officer, Anita Coia, on 03 9269 1251 or

Melbourne Polytechnic (formerly NMIT) operates across six campuses and five specialist training centres throughout Melbourne. The institute delivers high quality vocational education in industry-standard facilities.