THRIVE Build Project

Background to the THRIVE Build Project:-

St Helens Neighbourhood House began a bold new social enterprise program in 2017 after receiving a $250,000 grant from the Department of State Growth's Training and Work Pathways Program. 

The THRIVE Build Project is another exciting initiative under the THRIVE Partnership and is taking place at the St Helens Trade Training Centre, Groom Street. This 18-month project, we hope, will kick-start a social enterprise project that aims to increase employment opportunities and address housing issues. We are converting used shipping containers to homes.

“New approaches to the intractable social problems surrounding homelessness are needed. Increasingly, around the world, container houses are seen as a solution to a growing need for low-cost housing. Re-purposed shipping containers are strong, durable, significantly reduce construction time and produce a smaller carbon footprint compared to regular house construction. Their structure lends itself to architecturally innovative, modular construction techniques.” (re: )

The project will potentially provide training towards a Certificate III in Carpentry to 12 people over an 18 month period. Training is delivered Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Trade Training Centre with a maximum intake of six people per two 9-month time frames. The first six participants have started and will receive wrap-around support, including access to literacy mentors and health professionals. They will also be mentored by accredited, experienced tradespeople. St Helens Neighbourhood House is delighted to have Brian Matthews as our tutor for this project. Brian is enthusiastic, supportive and highly motivational and has a knack of bringing out the best in his students.

We would like to thank Peter Ross from Catholic Care and our resident Volunteer Counsellor Susan Webb for their provision of personal development sessions for the participants which further enhance their learning experience and build their confidence.

THRIVE's aim is to build relationships, futures and give our community an increased sense of pride and empowerment.


The THRIVE Partnership is delighted to announce that local youth Lewis Ritchie has been awarded the apprenticeship position for the THRIVE Build Project. In order to ensure that Lewis gains experience in all aspects of the construction industry the committee reached a decision to place him with a local builder. We have engaged Darren Turner from Tasmania Building Group Apprenticeship Scheme to support Lewis for the duration of the project. Darren has proven to be invaluable to the project assisting us select apprentice and continues to support the THRIVE Build Project Committee to ensure project success.

THRIVE Build Project committee meet monthly and is made up of local community representatives and service providers including highly skilled people such as Jake Ihnen, Building Services Coordinator, Break O’Day Council providing knowledge and expertise. The committee is keen to promote our first conversion in the hopes that we may secure orders from people who are looking for affordable, contemporary housing.

If you would like to learn more about the project or would like to discuss ordering a new home please

contact Trish at 6376 1134 or email