Strong com­mu­ni­ties

En­vi­ron­men­tal group opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties for em­ploy­ees

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

“Land­care (is) about strength­en­ing the whole com­mu­nity... we ad­vo­cate for the en­vi­ron­ment within a so­cial struc­ture” – Monto Land­care’s Glenn Baker.

PASS­ING on knowl­edge out­side the con­straints of the tra­di­tional ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is just another one of the monumental projects qui­etly be­ing con­quered at Monto Land­care.

“It’s easy to fall through the cracks no mat­ter where you grow up,” Aus­tralian Agri­cul­tural Col­lege’s Troy Bax­ter said.

“Mod­ern school sys­tems don’t suit those who are ac­tive and out­doorsy as much as they suit peo­ple who can sit still and lis­ten, and we are look­ing at ways we can help these peo­ple.”

Mr Bax­ter and John Wood­er­son ar­rived in Monto on Tues­day for a six-month, 16-unit Aus­tralian Agri­cul­tural Col­lege course de­signed to up-skill five Land­care work­ers. The five par­tic­i­pants will re­ceive a Cer­tifi­cate III in Con­ser­va­tion Land Man­age­ment, which will cov­ers me­chan­i­cal skills, con­ser­va­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion train­ing, lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy.

“(In) these cour­ses peo­ple re­alise they have abil­ity to do things and they start see­ing all the op­por­tu­ni­ties they have out there,” Mr Bax­ter said.

Jor­dan Clay­ton, who is a young worker do­ing the course, said he “could never get a foot in the door” when he lived in Bris­bane.

“I was work­ing wash­ing trucks from when I was 16 un­til I was 18, and I wasn’t go­ing any­where re­ally with that,” the 20-year-old said.

Af­ter first work­ing on a Monto dairy farm, Mr Clay­ton joined Land­care. That was one year ago.

“I like the sim­ple life out here. Peo­ple look af­ter you at work and that wouldn’t hap­pen in the city,” he said.

Land­care founder Glenn Baker said pro­vid­ing skills and ed­u­ca­tion to their work­ers had not been in the plan when the group be­gan, but had evolved over time.

“We de­cided Land­care was about strength­en­ing the whole com­mu­nity, be­cause we ad­vo­cate for the en­vi­ron­ment within a so­cial struc­ture,” he said.

While this im­proves the qual­ity of the work­force, Mr Baker said the idea was not to keep their work­ers at Land­care for­ever.

“We see our­selves as an in­ter­me­di­ary, we are just part of the path­way for these guys,” he said.

LOOK­ING FOR­WARD: Sam Ab­der­halden, John Schafer, Jor­dan Clay­ton, An­drew Bridges, Alan Knight, John Wood­er­son, Troy Bax­ter and Glenn Baker are help­ing Land­care be­come more than just an en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

NEW KNOWL­EDGE: Sam Ab­der­halden, John Schafer, Jor­dan Clay­ton, An­drew Bridges, Alan Knight, John Wood­er­son, Troy Bax­ter and Glenn Baker are help­ing Land­care be­come much more than just an en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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