Monday, 29 June 2015
Budding horticulturalists have showcased their latest creation at the Gold Coast’s Regional Botanic Gardens, part of a joint Federal Government-City of Gold Coast initiative.
The ‘Green Army’ is a six-month youth program providing 17-24 year olds with the skills, training and experience to help them enter the workforce or improve their career opportunities.
Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo and Mayor Tom Tate met the Green Army this morning, together with representatives from the Yugambeh community, Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Council staff, all of whom have been involved in the project.
Mr Ciobo said the Green Army, a Coalition Government initiative, has been an incredible success for the environment and those involved.
“The participants have generated real environment and conservation benefits for our community, while at the same time gaining valuable practical training and experience to help them prepare for the workforce or further training and improve their career opportunities,” he said.
The Green Army has undertaken work in the Botanic Gardens, to establish an area named ‘the Story of our Country’ that reflects the indigenous Yugambeh community’s traditional journeys between Beenleigh, Mt Tamborine and the Gold Coast. This journey is commemorated today in the annual pilgrimage known as the Drumley Walk.
Mayor Tom Tate said the project would leave a lasting legacy.
“The Story of our Country garden will be an important new way of sharing the stories and heritage of the Yugambeh group,” he said.
“Garden tourism is becoming more popular and telling this unique story will be a cultural drawcard in its own right.”
Yugambeh Museum Language & Heritage Research Centre director Rory O’Connor worked with designer Kate Heffernan and Council to design the garden.
“As the site matures, I would like to see it used by the general community as a place to meet and to tell their stories to visitors to the Gold Coast,” he said.
“We thank the Green Army trainees and we hope they take away a sense of community and belonging. We invite them feel connected to this landscape.”
The garden includes over 100 plant species, which the Yugambeh people used for food, medicine, hunting and to indicate the changing seasons.