CDU partners to grow new bush program 

Helping to green a remote central Australian community are (l-r) Paul Pumpjack, Andrew Nugiary-Smith, and Warren Murphy-Cullinan

Pathways and gardens at Imanpa cemetery

Eight young people from the remote central Australian community of Imanpa have graduated from the area’s first Green Corps program.

Green Corps is a Federal Government initiative which provides young people the opportunity to gain six months’ paid work experience and training on environmental and cultural heritage projects.

Training was provided by Charles Darwin University (CDU), and the project was jointly run by Job Futures in partnership with Job Network provider Anangu Jobs, and Imanpa community leaders.

Participants completed a Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management and graduated from the Green Corps project at a ceremony held recently at the community.

Imanpa, a one-time cattle station 275km south of Alice Springs, lost some of its original biodiversity as a result of environmental damage from past land uses.

The project, developed by Anangu Jobs, was a response to community members’ requests for areas within and around the community to be restored and regenerated.

CDU Primary Industries lecturer Simon Leadbeater said he enjoyed working with a committed team.

“It’s always important to have different groups working together and the result of this project is an example of providing outcomes which benefit the students and the community as a whole. Working at Imanpa has been very rewarding,” he said.

Community chairperson Tanya Luckey said she had been impressed with the opportunities the project has given young people in the community.

“I am proud of the work that has been done around the community by the young fellas who have been working on the project. They are an inspiration. Projects like these are helpful in getting young people into the habit of working, especially in remote areas like Imanpa,” she said.

Participants on the team undertook projects to reduce fire hazards and dust, repair erosion damage, protect plant species, and create windbreaks within the community area.

Team Leader Ashley Marsh was impressed with attendance during the warmest months of the year.

“Some participants have been working really hard to ensure new plants are watered and kept alive and it’s great to see people caring about and enjoying what they are doing as part of the project, for the community and for themselves,” he said.

A central project included the cemetery where students planted trees, created gardens and built fences.

Participant Dan Wongway said he enjoyed his experience.

“It’s great to have picked up skills while working in my own community,” he said.