Work crews connect Country and communities

4 February 2021

Over the last few months, our works crews have been supporting many landholders and organisations to complete agricultural and environmental projects that were delayed due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

While it’s always great to view the results on the ground, the positive impact this work has on people is particularly special.

Our Central Agriculture Work Crew team recently spent four days at Odyssey House in Lower Plenty to help revamp the gardens and riverside vegetation surrounding their fire circle and First Nations Art Room.

Odyssey House is a community-driven residential facility that supports people to break patterns of addiction. The gardens provide residents with a place for learning, sharing and connecting to Country.

Fire circle and fire pit.

The fire circle is used for Smoking Ceremonies and other cultural activities, such as a program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents called “Buladu Ngarrgu” which means “grow knowledge”. Aboriginal staff and residents also invite the whole community down for significant events and celebrations or acknowledgements such as NAIDOC week or Overdose Prevention Day.

The crew was welcomed with a powerful smoking ceremony led by Wurundjeri Elders, Uncle Dave and Uncle Ron, and with the help of residents, who were eager to learn more about indigenous plants and conservation work, the team removed 10 trailer loads of weeds.

Before the work crews arrived the weeds had grown and non-native species were present
The work crew, with the help of residents, removed all of the weeds and mulched.

Gaining knowledge and skills such as these are an important part of the residents’ recovery journey and the crew were honoured to met them.

The PPWCMA’s Work Crews project is supported by the Victorian Government through the Working for Victoria initiative.