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Motor sport event sparks interest in trades

By Patrick Nelson

Trades team leader Jamie Finn talks to a member of the public about automotive repair techniques at the Red CentreNATS Trades team leader Jamie Finn talks to a member of the public about automotive repair techniques at the Red CentreNATS

The first Red CentreNATS motor sports event in Alice Springs provided Charles Darwin University with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate a variety of trades courses to an engaged public.

Trades team leader Jamie Finn said thousands of people visited the CDU stall during the three-day event, which organisers said drew more than 13,000 people through the gates.

“It’s not often you get the chance to connect with such a large captive audience in Central Australia,” Mr Finn said.

“We were overwhelmed with the success and interest that people showed in the courses and short courses that CDU can offer across the trades spectrum.”

Mr Finn said organisers offered CDU a booth in the same pavilion at Blatherskite Park that housed the elite cars.

“The paintwork and presentation of some of those vehicles was so magnificent it would make you weep,” he said.

Mr Finn said that within the CDU booth, there was huge interest in the welding simulator, a generation III V8 engine and the Paintless Dent Repair apparatus.

“We calculated that about 500 individuals had a go with the welding simulator. We asked each person to wear a hair net before they put on the welding mask, and we went through our full supply of 500 hair nets.

“A hybrid engine, various cut away demonstration models and CDU’s recently retired stock speedway car, were other features that sparked conversations.”

Mr Finn said public interest in Paintless Dent Repair had encouraged him to consider how CDU could offer it as a unit in Alice Springs.

“It is nationally recognised under the panel beating training package, so really it’s a case of having sufficient numbers to make it financially viable.”

Mr Finn said he had already begun casting his thoughts towards the second Red CentreNATS, which has been locked in for the Father’s Day weekend next year.

“We’ve already started discussing a bigger, better and more interactive presence. We may set up a portable spray painting booth, or organise a competition that measures how quickly someone can strip down a motor.

“There are a lot of things we can do.”