Today, a group of young people involved in the Australian Government’s Green Army program can be proud of their contributions to their community and the environment.
I was delighted to join participants, project sponsors and service provider Conservation Volunteers Australia at the Koala Conservation Centre on Phillip Island, one of the many sites that have been revegetated through the Phillip Island and Bass Coast Green Army project to mark their graduation.
It was terrific to hear from the team about their experiences in the field and what they have achieved over the past 26 weeks.
The feedback from these projects has been overwhelmingly positive, both from the community groups and from the young people involved.
Many of the participants have already lined up jobs in the environmental sector or are continuing on with further studies to gain formal qualifications.
These graduates have delivered real environmental benefits for the community and have also gained valuable practical training and experience to help them enhance their career opportunities.
The team completed a number of activities to improve the natural environment, including:
• Revegetation projects at Oswin Roberts Reserve, Fiveways Reserve, Ventnor Koala Reserve and the recently opened Scenic Estate Conservation Reserve – More than 40,000 grasses, shrubs and trees were planted across these reserves
• Construction of 600 metres of wallaby-proof fencing at the Koala Conservation Centre
• Planting at Korrumburra Waste Treatment plant sites in the Bass Hills
• Removal of woody weeds at Oswin Roberts Reserve, Summerlands Peninsula and Observation Point, at the mouth of the Rhyll Inlet wetlands
• The re-establishment of penguin habitat at Summerland Peninsula on Phillip Island
• Mangrove rehabilitation and foreshore revegetation along the Bass Coast
Right across Australia, the Green Army is making a real difference to the environment and local communities through projects such as restoring and protecting habitat, weeding, planting, cleaning up creeks and rivers and restoring cultural heritage places.
The Green Army is supporting environmental action across the country, building to 15,000 young Australians by 2018.
Applications for projects under Round 4 of the Green Army programme are now open.
Local community organisations, Landcare groups, natural resource management organisations, environment groups, Indigenous organisations, councils and others are encouraged to nominate Green Army projects that have a clear focus on conservation of the environment or National or World Heritage places.
Applications for projects close at 2pm AEST on September 16. For more information, visit the Green Army website at www.australia.gov.au/greenarmy