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VET trainers to boost skills in Nepal

By Patrick Nelson

Rob and Sue Tucker … taking their training skills to Nepal Rob and Sue Tucker … taking their training skills to Nepal

Two long-term Charles Darwin University staffers have packed their bags for the Himalayas where they will spend their long-service leave as voluntary trainers in Nepalese mountain villages.

Alice Springs couple Rob and Sue Tucker described their impending four-month sojourn as a “holiday with a difference”.

“We’ll be taking up a short-term training opportunity that matches our skills as adult and vocational education trainers with some of their learning needs,” said Rob, the head of the automotive department at Alice Springs campus.

“I’ll deliver training in small engines, maintenance and general mechanical repairs to teenage boys in two or three orphanages,” he said.

“Sue will assist health and community development staff improve their word-processing, typing, report writing and IT skills.”

Based in the mid-western Nepalese city of Nepalgunj, the Tuckers will support two Christian organisations, the International Nepal Fellowship and the Maya Sadan Centre.

“Three years ago, when we were last there, we identified an opportunity to support the local community in passing on our skills,” Rob said.

“We found them to be a warm and welcoming people and we realised we had a desire to do something for them in terms of bettering their lifestyle.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have the resources, employment conditions and opportunity to do this; to give something back.”

It is the second trip to the tiny landlocked nation for Rob, and the third for Sue, a VET Developer who has worked for CDU in Alice Springs for the past 14 years.

“It’s a country that hits you in the face,” said Sue, who first visited 25 years ago.

“The incredibly bright clothes, the colourful foods in the markets, the smell of the food and the spices, it’s a place that affronts every sense.”

Rob and Sue said they were also looking forward to trekking in the Annapurna region, and possibly catching a glimpse of Mt Everest before their return to the Red Centre in the New Year.