The Questacon Production Team is supporting an apprenticeship for the first time in many years. Chosen from a strong field of 75 applicants, Glen Goggin joined the exhibit production workshop in February to undertake an Apprenticeship Engineering Certificate III (Mechanical).
Glen has become something of a celebrity at Questacon, getting a special welcome from the Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Science, Karen Andrews MP, when he commenced his apprenticeship. He has become known as the ‘pin-up boy’ of the Questacon Production Team.
We sat down with Glen to find out more about him and his work, and what he is enjoying about being part of the Questacon team.
How did you come to become part of the Questacon team?
“I grew up in Bredbo, went to school in Cooma, and started my trade there. When my then boss moved to Canberra, I approached Questacon for work and spent several months as a Trade Assistant with the production workshop.
Then I did a year’s apprenticeship with the University of NSW, based at the Australian Defence Force Academy before the Questacon apprenticeship was advertised.
I’ve found Questacon to be a great working environment. The people are really friendly and always willing to help me out."
How is working with Questacon different to your other experience?
"Compared to my time working in private industry, working for Questacon is very different. Whereas the private sector tends to have a ‘learn as you do’ approach, at Questacon I can really focus on gaining skills and producing quality work without ‘time is money’ pressures.
Also, the work is more precision-based—the end product has to look a million bucks to go out on the floor with other exhibits. I’m really enjoying this aspect.
Fitting and machining is my trade, so my main focus is the metal work and inner structures of exhibits. However, the unique thing about this job is that I’m not just machining day in, day out. On any day I could be working with a range of different areas in the production workshop, such as drafting and carpentry, to create the different components of each exhibit, as well as helping to install the finished exhibits. This gives me a broad exposure to the many different skill areas involved in creating Questacon’s exhibitions.
I’d like to also get some exposure to the electronics aspects of exhibit fabrication too."
What’s the best part about this job?
"The best part of this job is getting to see a finished exhibit that I have helped to create being installed at Questacon. In private industry, once you finish machining a job you may never see it again or see it get used. Getting to watch people use the exhibits I’ve helped to create, seeing them learn and seeing that exhibit having an impact is very rewarding.
I had only visited Questacon once before on a school trip. I recall using the exhibits and learning but I certainly didn’t give any thought to the work that goes into developing and manufacturing them. It’s been a really interesting thing to discover.
I’m very keen to finish my trade, and I hope to be able to stay at Questacon for some time into the future."