GDP Industries, Graeme

One could easily mistake the deafening bang, to be from a shotgun, but it was actually faulty airbags being exploded. We had the pleasure of meeting Graeme Baltetsch who took us for a tour of GDP Industries (Geelong Disabled People’s Industries) in Baxter Rd. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable Graeme has been working with GDP for 46 years.

Graeme GDP

Graeme is the tour guide but also known as the generous handyman who helps out fellow workers with items from their homes that need fixing. Management affectionately and proudly told us of how he always goes above and beyond to help others.

Pictured is some of his handy work. These gorgeous wooden pieces of furniture are made from recycled wood. The vegie boxes and furniture can be made to order. GDP recycles almost everything you could imagine including polystyrene which is melted into blocks and sold to China. Then it comes back here as picture frames etc. They also dismantle electrical goods and recycle every piece possible.

Old fence palings are made into custom made seed trays for a Melbourne nursery and vegie boxes and the beautiful Wathaurong glass presentation boxes are made out of pine. In another corner of the deceivingly enormous factory, paper is being shredded.

GDP is an ADE (Australian Disability Enterprise) offering long term supported employment to people with a disability. They are a not-for-profit organisation registered with the Australian Charities Commission and have been operating in Geelong for over 52 years, Graeme’s almost been there from the start. They also manage the City of Greater Geelong’s Geelong Resource Recovery Centre in Douro Street where you can drop recyclable items for free and have centres at No 9 and No 21 Slevin Street.

Graeme One Off Chair

Please note, everyone at GDP will be taking a well-earned break from Thursday 20th December until Tuesday 15th January 2019.

Keep up the great work Graeme and all the workers at GDP! We love what these guys do on so many levels. Reduce, reuse, recycle, renew!

Story: Jacqui Bennett Photos: supplied