Beginning as ‘Hand-Break Turn’ by a church group in the year 2000, the department was established once many of the tech schools within the Geelong region began to disseminate. This gave the disengaged youth, who were not suited towards the mainstream school environment, a destination to gain hands-on experience within various fields, including spray painting, panel beating, and mechanics. Due to increasing financial difficulties, Diversitat acquired Hand-Break Turn in 2010, where it was re-named as ‘You Turn’ and now ‘You Turn at the BASE’. BASE stands for building ability and skills for employment.
Currently, You Turn at the BASE provides Certificate I in Work Education 22301VIC and Certificate I in Transition Education 22302VIC for students with a cognitive learning disability, and “hands-on” VCAL foundation programs for students aged 15 years and over. Additionally, You Turn at the BASE provides pre-accredited training services for students. This gives them an introduction into trades.
You Turn at the BASE is mostly granted its funding through ‘Skills First’, to assist in the running of its courses and programs. Other than this, You Turn at the BASE receives donations from a variety of different outlets, such as Ford Australia, Bursons, and Air Radiators. Many individuals and businesses also donate used cars, which are used by students to work on as part of different projects.
You Turn at the BASE also works closely with Youth Justice to assist and support clients to re-engage in training and work ready programs to build skills to enhance future employment and training options. Youth Justice clients are aged under the age of 19 and are currently within the criminal justice system.
Students greatly enjoy the hands-on work that You Turn at the BASE provides them. Such hands-on work includes mechanics, panel beating, carpentry, and spray-painting. This is the life-force of You Turn at the BASE program, as without the hands-on aspect, many students would be disinterested, as this is what they are passionate about.
It is the student-based achievements that You Turn at the BASE staff members are incredibly proud of. Seeing their students “mature and grow into new possibilities”, earn and maintain apprenticeships, and express their appreciation and gratitude towards the staff is what makes all the team feel an extraordinary sense of satisfaction and pride, as is reaffirms to them that what they do “has a purpose”.
You Turn at the BASE will always be there to provide a home and opportunity for teenagers who are struggling with life, and will help them change their lives for the better.