Ten young Indigenous men from La Perouse have seen their lives turned around after completing Stage 2 of their Green Army project.
The Guriwal Aboriginal Bush Tucker Revitalization and Biodiversity Project was undertaken as part of the Government's Green Army program, an environmental and employment initiative supporting land care projects run in conjunction with local community groups. The Guriwal project commenced in 2016, restoring an area of parkland in the Sydney suburb of La Perouse.
Nine participants and their supervisor took part in the project, which ran over two 23-week stages. As a result of their participation, four of the young men are now moving into full-time employment, another is about to commence university (while working part-time) and the remaining four participants are heading off to work on another Green Army project.
In addition, the team’s supervisor has obtained a job as a Male Youth Well-Being Coordinator, working with Indigenous youth. His experience on the Green Army project proved he was extremely capable of leading a team of young men and was a critical factor in his new appointment.
Guided through the project by Aunty Barb, an elder from the La Perouse region, the young men not only learnt about the native plants of the area, but also about the history of the land and the families that lived there. The team members were also working in areas that their fathers had previously worked on as part of programs to enhance the landscape.
As well as resulting in employment opportunities for all the participants, the Guriwal project was also particularly special for two of the young men who were following in the footsteps of their fathers. As part of their conservation work, the participants restored two signs originally erected by their fathers on the site 20 years earlier.
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