Two local jobactive providers, Sarina Russo Job Access and Tursa Employment & Training, have setup a successful activity having placed 35 job seekers into two activities.
National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is set on 27 hectares of parkland and without the large group of Work for the Dole participants, the Sanctuary could not possibly keep up with the maintenance and conservation work that needs to be done.
‘The Sanctuary really needed the extra pairs of hands so we provided the workforce to get these tasks completed.’ said Chris Muldoon, Tursa Employment and Training. ‘The changes are fantastic, absolutely brilliant. There is really positive feedback from the Host and the participants.’
The job seekers have been working on large-scale restoration and refurbishment of the Ridgeway Nature Reserve to conserve a native endangered Pilliarus Eucalypt forest and restore the habitat for local wildlife.
The Pilliarus Eucalypt forest before and after the restoration activity
The other activity is the refurbishment and upkeep of the animal enclosures. This is a construction based project and all participants have undertaken training through their jobactive providers and now have their White Card which allows them to work on construction projects.
Dr Michael Pyne, the General Manager of the National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and Senior Vet of the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital has worked at the Sanctuary for about 15 years. ‘Work for the Dole is a great benefit to us. It makes a real difference’ said Dr Michael Pyne. ‘We’re a not-for-profit organisation and we put all the takings back into conservation and into the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. There are many non-crucial projects that we just wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t have our Work for the Dole teams.’
Dr Michael Pyne says the key to the success of the activities is treating the workers with respect to get the best out of them. ‘We have the same expectations of the participants as we do our employees. We expect that they will turn up on time and work hard, but we also make sure they feel respected and appreciated for their work.’
There is no doubt that National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is benefitting from the activities but the job seekers are also gaining a lot from their experience. ‘We teach them skills, but we also make sure we get them work fit, get them in the right headspace and have a good attitude to work and their confidence grows.’
A number of participants have gained employment after their experience with this Work for the Dole activity, making it a great success for National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and local job seekers.
The Work for the Dole crew from the National Trust Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
From left to right: Chris Muldoon (Gold Coast Work for the Dole Coordinator), Danalee Tuaopepe, Nick Everingham, Jamin Datsma, Miller Blair and Adam Ferguson (Work for the Dole Supervisor).