Tag Archives: Community Development Program

Media Release: Beswick oasis offers unexpected backyard bounty

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BESWICK BOUNTY: Robert Rickson, Ray Ashley and Shay Ladd tend to the pumpkins that have been planted in Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Beswick Nursery as part of a Community Development Program project.

BESWICK BOUNTY: Robert Rickson, Ray Ashley and Shay Ladd tend to the pumpkins that have been planted in Roper Gulf Regional Council’s Beswick Nursery as part of a Community Development Program project.

It is an inviting oasis that contrasts the surrounding ochre landscape and provides skill development and a bountiful, backyard source of fresh produce to the residents of Beswick.

What started as a Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Development Program project has quickly evolved into a source of pride in the community, which is about 110 kilometres east of Katherine, as participants nurture and cultivate a diverse range of fruit and vegetables for their friends and families to enjoy.

CDP participant Ray Ashley said he enjoyed the challenge presented by growing produce one would not usually find in Beswick.

“It’s good looking after the garden and nursery, and planting new growth,” he said.

“I also like knowing we’re helping feed the community.”

Recycled materials sourced from the community landfill were utilised during the construction of the Beswick Nursery, including discarded fridges that have been transformed from eyesores into novel pots adorned with hand-painted art, and unwanted bed frames that now act as trellises for succulent tomatoes.

WUGULARR WELCOME: It is impossible to miss the entrance to the Beswick Nursery after CDP participants added a splash of colour with painted scraps of corrugated iron.

It is impossible to miss the entrance to the Beswick Nursery after CDP participants added a splash of colour with painted scraps of corrugated iron.

The Council’s CDP Regional Manager, Janelle Iszlaub, explained that the keys to offering a well-supported project were community engagement and skill development.

“With the CDP program, it’s incorporated with work-for-the-dole, so we have to find activities on community that benefit the community,” she said.

“So, with this, we’re having a wonderful turnout, because it’s an activity that’s involving the whole community.

“It’s giving skills to the jobseekers, and it’s involving all the jobseekers.”

Chief Executive Officer Michael Berto congratulated staff and participants for developing a project that delivered a genuine benefit to Beswick, adding that he believed it proved the Council was leading the way with CDP innovation.

“What we’ve got here is something that’s making so much difference to people in Beswick,” he said.

“Not only is it creating engagement and skills participants didn’t have before the nursery opened, it’s also creating a sustainable, local and cost-effective way for community members to access fresh produce.

“These type of exciting projects show Council is breaking the stereotypical mould of work-for-the-dole programs by offering a way for participants to really learn new skills as they try to find employment.”

The Council delivers CDP projects in 10 communities on behalf of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Federal Government initiative assists jobseekers in remote communities to find employment as they contribute to their communities and gain new skills in the process.

View the full Media Release here.

FLOURISHING FRIDGES: CDP participant Ray Ashley explains to Director of Commercial Services Marc Gardner and CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub how fridges recovered from the Beswick landfill are helping the community’s nursery flourish.

CDP participant Ray Ashley explains to Director of Commercial Services Marc Gardner and CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub how fridges recovered from the Beswick landfill are helping the community’s nursery flourish.

 

Media Release: Unique Council project transforms more than unwanted junk

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DRUMMING UP PRIDE: Community Development Program participant Javin Harrison braves the build-up heat in Barunga to strip one of 80 donated 44-gallon drums back to bare metal for a furniture-building project on September 14.

An innovative project is creating more than one-of-a-kind furniture for the participants of a Roper Gulf Regional Council Community Development Program in the Indigenous community of Barunga.

The project involves transforming donated and recycled materials into head-turning furniture that can be utilised by participants and their families in the community, which is about 80 kilometres south-east of Katherine.

The community turned out in force to celebrate the project on September 14 as participants unveiled some of the furniture, created predominantly with 44-gallon drums donated by Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation (JAAC).

The drums stored aviation fuel in their previous incarnation but have been turned into a range of seats and tables that belie the humble beginnings of their materials.

Male participants are responsible for the construction of the furniture, while female participants spearhead a sewing effort to ensure the creations are comfortable as well as practical.

While the project is providing participants with new skills and a cost-effective furnishing solution for their houses, the biggest benefit is one that cannot be sat on.

Between grinding drums back to bare metal to allow the stunning transformation to begin, Javin Harrison explained that the project had provided him with a new-found sense of community and self-worth.

“It’s changed my life,” the 19-year-old said as he inspected his work.

“I love the activity because it’s different to the other ones.

“It’s a lot better than staying at home and makes you somebody.

“It makes you feel happy.”

Wayne Runyu, Francis Camphoo and Tony Walla proudly show off the 44-gallon drum seat Barunga CDP participants presented to Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer John Berto.

Wayne Runyu, Francis Camphoo and Tony Walla proudly show off the 44-gallon drum seat Barunga CDP participants presented to Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation Chief Executive Officer John Berto.

There was dual cause for celebration at the unveiling as the organisations finalised a long-awaited partnership agreement that will enable CDP participants to work on country under the supervision of JAAC employees.

To mark the occasion, CDP participants presented JAAC Chief Executive Officer John Berto with a seat featuring a plaque and his organisation’s logo.

“I’m blown away by what they’ve built,” Mr Berto said as he sat in the seat for the first time.

Mr Berto added that he hoped more CDP projects in remote communities across the Northern Territory followed the Council’s innovative lead.

“I’ve been around here and there, to most communities in the Northern Territory, and have never seen anything like this,” he said.

“You’ve got to tell the rest of world this; they’ll want to know.”

Barunga and Manyallaluk CDP participants pose for a photo with Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation boss John Berto as he gets comfortable on his one-of-a-kind present.

Barunga and Manyallaluk CDP participants pose for a photo with Jawoyn Association Aboriginal Corporation boss John Berto as he gets comfortable on his one-of-a-kind present.

Sommer Meadows is one of the Council’s CDP Senior Employment Supervisors and the impassioned brainchild behind the out-of-the-box projects in Barunga and neighbouring Manyallaluk, and described the creation of the furniture as “an amazing journey”.

“This is what community is all about,” she said.

“It’s going to help these men build furniture for their families and for their houses.

“It’s been a real group effort and I’m really proud of them.”

The Council runs CDP projects in 13 communities in its Local Government Area on behalf of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Federal Government initiative assists jobseekers in remote communities to find employment as they contribute to their communities and gain new skills in the process.

View the full Media Release here.