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Hayden’s gear change from fast lane to student workshop

By Patrick Nelson

Hayden Welsh inspects the automotive workshop at CDU’s Alice Springs campus Hayden Welsh inspects the automotive workshop at CDU’s Alice Springs campus

New trades lecturer Hayden Welsh knows a thing or two about horsepower, both in terms of engine grunt and that found in the stables at a race track.

But despite his passion for thoroughbred racing, it is his knowledge of the automotive industry that has brought him to Charles Darwin University.

“If first impressions are anything to go by, I’m in for a stimulating and rewarding career as an automotive trainer,” said Mr Welsh, a relatively new educator who arrived in Alice Springs last year to undertake a teaching role with another registered training organisation.

Mr Welsh recently took the reins of the Vocational Education and Training in schools automotive program, involving Year 9, 10 and 11 students in Alice Springs.

“We picked up where they had left off in the training block held earlier this semester,” he said.

“The focus was on general servicing, workshop practices and fundamental mechanical principles.”

Mr Welsh has enjoyed a varied and exciting career in the automotive industry since completing his apprenticeship in Launceston, Tasmania.

Until last year he ran his own repair workshop in Melbourne, having previously worked as a travelling mechanic for Kinser Racing, an elite short-track racing team in the US most noted for lead driver and serial World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser.

“I worked for his son, Kraig, a championship driver in his own right, in what was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“In terms of engine power, their cars had about 900 horsepower, which gave them a better power-weight ratio than a Formula One car.”

Mr Welsh also has a keen interest in thoroughbred racing and has completed a Certificate IV in (Thoroughbred) Racing with an interstate provider.