A rundown farm in Queensland has been given a new lease on life to serve as a job and income-provider for the Napranum community.
A partnership between the Napranum Aboriginal Shire Council, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training and Community Owned Enterprises has secured ten paid traineeships for Napranum locals.
The trainees will help re-establish a community garden on the 22-acre farm over a six-month period under a new Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
The program was co-designed with local stakeholders and Traditional Owners, and will be led by farm supervisor Frank Sigai, and Na’Muk’A’Run Mob led by lead mentor Jack Wipa.
Mr Wipa said there was an atmosphere of positivity around the initiatives to fork out employment pathways.
“All ten participants are here at 7:30AM every morning, keenly working to get the farm ready,” he said.
“For many of our participants, this is their first job, we helped them get set up with a tax file number and even get some of their first ID’s to get into the project and now they are all here working and learning valuable skills.
“The greenhouse is very near being ready for use, and the first new plants have begun to go in the ground, we are all excited to see things growing.”
Trainees have begun preparing areas of the farm which have fallen into disrepair and clearing the property of weeds, overgrown vegetation and refuse.
Initial plans are to grow staple crops such as taro, papaya, watermelon and bananas before trialing the growth of native plants and explore both local and national opportunities plantings may afford.
Stakeholders have already met to discuss options for the continuation of the farm beyond the SQW project completion.