Sarah the Skip Truck Operator turned woodworking wonder

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Last updated: 27/11/2020

Whether she's in the skip truck transporting recycled items or at Rob's Shed tinkering with timber, Sarah has fun with IMPACT

Sarah Sturrock is a well-known face at IMPACT Community Services’ Material Recycling Facility and knows a thing or two about skip trucks and recycling.

But lately Sarah has been working with a different kind of material – timber.

One of IMPACT’s most successful NDIS programs, Rob’s Shed, teaches participants how to safely and effectively use power tools and materials to construct a range of different items.

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Sarah’s hearing aids are so impressive that they not only amplify sound to help her hear, but they also mute noise for her automatically when she is working with machinery.

Sarah knew her nephew’s birthday was coming up so set out to build him a set of timber blocks to play with.

“I had learnt from my grandfather, he was in woodwork, and would make different types of things,” Sarah said.

“I learnt (woodworking) from high school and liked it, so thought I would try again.”

Her nephew was so excited when he received the gift that he hopped in the trolley and started wheeling himself around.

Sarah began making the blocks some six months ago and is thrilled to finally have them finished.

“My family said, ‘great job Sarah, about time’,” she laughed, as her nephew’s birthday had passed some months ago.

Sarah had spent three hours every fortnight for the past six months creating the blocks for her nephew.

NDIS Support Worker Andrew Lloyd said Sarah had been incredibly dedicated to the project.

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“It’s a legacy to her pop and her dad and I think that’s beautiful,” Andrew said.

“She’s always here 15 minutes early with her tools and gives 100% in the workshop, she’s got a real passion for it.

“She had pictured in her head what she wanted to make and then it was just a matter of finding the time and staff to help her.”

Sarah is never short of ideas, having constructed a bookshelf from the slats of an old timber bed she had pulled apart and brought in.

“I’m really proud of what she’s achieved,” Andrew said.

“Everything that I’ve taught her, to make her a better woodworker, comes back to her as she’s working. You can see her confidence in using the machinery has really improved.”

Next on the construction agenda is a timber toolbox, made from recycled materials, to put her drill, sanders and other equipment in. We can’t wait to see the finished product.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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