Laidley High School staff member Ashley Dewar, principal Michael Clarkson, Laidley RSL president Tom Burton, and head of industrial technology and design Allistair Smith, at Laidley District High School. PHOTO: Nathan Greaves
Laidley High School staff member Ashley Dewar, principal Michael Clarkson, Laidley RSL president Tom Burton, and head of industrial technology and design Allistair Smith, at Laidley District High School. PHOTO: Nathan Greaves

High school’s generous donation to local RSL

A LOCKYER Valley school has put its design equipment to good use, fashioning Anzac-themed plaques to raise funds for the local RSL.

As part of a $10 million upgrade earlier this year, Laidley State High School installed a range of high-quality, industry-standard machinery.

Among this equipment was a plasma cutter, which head of industrial technology and design Allistair Smith used to design and manufacture Anzac-themed steel plaques to raise funds for the Laidley RSL.

READ MORE: Exciting $10 million education facilities opened at Laidley

The plaques have proven popular with parents and friends of the school, with many of them adorning local properties during Dawn Services.

The school on Friday donated one of these plaques, and a $500 cheque, to Laidley RSL president Tom Barton.

"We haven't been able to fundraise much this year, so it's very welcome," Mr Barton said.

"We're very, very grateful."

The plaque design features the iconic words 'Lest We Forget' over a field of poppies, with the silhouette of a soldier standing vigil beside it.

 

Laidley District High School’s plasma cutter in action, cutting out a new plaque. Photo: Nathan Greaves
Laidley District High School’s plasma cutter in action, cutting out a new plaque. Photo: Nathan Greaves

Before the presentation, Mr Smith - along with fellow staff member Ashley Dewar and school Principal Michael Clarkson, took Mr Barton on a tour of the trade, design and construction areas of the school.

During the tour they showed off the powerful plasma cutter responsible for creating the plaques, a piece of machinery so large the school had been forced to tear down a wall to get it into the building.

Mr Smith said he had used some of the school's other equipment to practise the design before moving on to full-scale work.

"I practised with a laser cutter on wood first, testing it until I got a design that worked," Mr Smith said.

"Obviously we didn't want to be wasting sheet metal."

 

The plasma cutting process results in cut-outs which in turn can make for display pieces. Photo: Nathan Greaves
The plasma cutting process results in cut-outs which in turn can make for display pieces. Photo: Nathan Greaves

In addition to the plaques, the process has incidentally produced other display pieces, as the pieces removed by the cutter remain intact when the process is finished.

"With the cutting, you still have the cut-outs, so we have all of these figures that we thought were too good to just throw out," Mr Smith said.

"I took some home for my front gate. One of our arts teachers put it in her window with a flag and light behind it to create a really nice display."

Some of these cut-outs were donated to the RSL as well, which Mr Barton said would find their way into some kind of display.

"We'll find a good home for it," he said.

"It'll be put to good use, it all will."

There has already been talk of the plaques making a return next year, with both the RSL and the supplier of the sheet metal expressing an interest in sponsoring the project.


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