How a Kingdom Hall is helping women get a trade
LIVING out of a caravan and practising your skilled trade for free may not be everyone's cup of tea.
But Aden and Alexandra Nilsen love what they do.
Alongside other volunteers, the couple has parked up in Monto to help a group of locals build a new place of worship.
After more than a month of hard work, the town's new Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness is just weeks from completion.
"All 19 locals in the congregation are helping to build it," Mr Nilsen said.
Using funds from an international donation pool, Kingdom Halls right across Queensland are undergoing renovations.
The Monto hall is the Nilsens' 20th volunteer project.
And one of their favourite aspects is that half of their current construction team are women.
"It creates good team spirit, bonds couples together and encourages women to learn new skills they might not have picked up otherwise," Mrs Nilsen said.
"I think our fine motor skills come in handy."
Monto's Fiona and Tim Craig said they had enjoyed working with their family and watching their daughters gain hands-on trade experience.
"Although one of our daughters is doing panel beating as a trade at the moment, she's been able to work with timber here as well as plumbing and electrical," she said.
"It's really nice because girls aren't encouraged to get into those industries.
"And they have the opportunity to work with great people who really want them to come in and help, not just push a broom around."
Because Monto Kingdom Hall was built in 1979, it was flagged with the international Jehovah's Witness organisation to be renovated.
All of the workers are volunteers.
"We want to beautify our places of worship, for people to learn about the bible," Mr Nilsen said.
The couple will continue travelling around Queensland volunteering their time to the construction of Kingdom Halls, with an upcoming project scheduled at Kingaroy.