At Amaroo, we are fortunate to have over 450 residents living in our Villages.
Every single resident who enters our Village comes with a unique story, and in our new blog series Residents of Amaroo we will introduce you to the inspiring people who make Amaroo their home.
In our first blog post, we introduce you to one of our Gosnells Village Residents, Allan.
Allan and his wife Helen have lived in our Gosnells Village for over 8 years.
“I moved into the Village as I wanted somewhere to rent with my wife. I am also a keen metal and woodworker, so having the Men’s Shed so close to my house was perfect. Amaroo had everything I wanted.”
For many years, Allan created masterpieces in our Men’s Shed, but has since convinced his wife to convert the front of their unit into his own workshop.
“At our Gosnells Village we are lucky to be surrounded by plenty of native Australian trees. When trees are cut down or die, I take the offcuts and make it into art. I also like to work with metal, but I only use scraps that will otherwise be thrown into the bin. The only material I buy is paint.”
A passion formed
“I was around nine years old when I started creating items out of wood.”
Most specifically, Allan remembers creating cubbyhouses in trees and bows and arrows.
“As soon as I finished school, I started working as a sheet metal worker. I really enjoyed creating and inventing things.”
Teaching the next generation
Allan worked in the sheet metal trade for a number of years, before he got the itch to start teaching and inspiring the next generation.
“A few years back they launched a course at Rockingham TAFE for kids who didn’t like going to school. A lot of them were roaming the streets and getting into drugs, so they wanted to upskill them.”
For a number of years, Allan taught students the trade of sheet metal working.
“There were kids in tears sitting at the desk because they had actually achieved something. It was amazing.”
Many of Allan’s students went onto secure apprenticeships in sheet metal work.
“They would come back and see me, and I loved it. It was a tough job, but it was a great job.”
Changing the lives of others
As a keen inventor, Allan is always looking for ways to use his skills to improve the lives of others.
“I heard about a rocket stove a few years back which sparked my interest. A rocket stove can be built to any size, and it burns wood when you cook on it, however it doesn’t let off any smoke or gas.”
“In many third world countries, close to 2 million people die from smoke inhalation as they cook on an open fire in a little tin shack.”
It was then that Allan’s next project came into fruition.
“Some of our friends were going to India and Uganda and asked us to join. We ended up doing a few trips there and building them some rocket stoves.”
This selfless act from Allan and his friends not only saved lives, but also created an income for a few locals who started their own business making rocket stoves.
So, what now?
Unsurprisingly, Allan is yet to slow down, and you can frequently find him in his workshop creating his next masterpiece.
“I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and have this thought of something to make, I then have to get up and draw it before I forget; only then I’m able to get back to sleep.”
Not only does Allan make practical creations, such as the camper on the back of his ute, he also makes tongue-in-cheek art, which you can appreciate whilst still having a laugh.
“At the moment I am working on a koala bear piece, and when I’m finished, I will display it in my front garden.”
The next time you are roaming around our Gosnells Village, keep an eye out for Allan’s creations – they are sure to put a smile on your face.