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Green Army collaboration much more than a pair of hands

NRM South, Landcare Tasmania and Conservations Volunteers Australia (Tasmania) are pleased to introduce the new Green Army Team who will be supporting environmental action in Southern Tasmania.

The Green Army is an Australian Government programme that aims to bring a hands-on, practical environmental approach to support local environment and heritage conservation projects across Australia. It is also designed to provide opportunity for young Australians aged 17-24 years to gain training and experience in environmental and heritage conservation fields and explore careers in conservation management.

The Southern Tasmania teams, which are coordinated by Conservation Volunteers Australia, have this last week been training in basic certifications to get them ready to work in the field.

The teams will have a roving schedule, working with local government projects in partnership with NRM South, supporting landholders who have received grant funding through NRM South/Landcare Tasmania, and community groups who are also grant recipients or simply running projects that need an extra set of helping hands.

The teams will most importantly also revisit previously funded projects such as Landcare and other NRM South project sites, and provide additional field work and monitoring of those projects.

NRM South CEO says the value will be enhancing NRM and environmental work in Tasmania’s Southern region while the team members develop their skills.

“We think that where the greatest difference will be made is both the extra support to projects that we have already identified can benefit from an extra pair of hands, but equally in the on-the-job training and skills the team members will gain by working with NRM professionals and dedicated community members through field work including monitoring, trials, weed control, planting and fencing,” Mr Coventry explained.

Much of the Green Army activity will directly support existing Landcare Tasmania and NRM South landholders and volunteer groups receiving grants as well as supporting regional projects, with the remainder of the time available to community groups.

NRM South and Landcare Tasmania will continue to coordinate teams through to the end of 2016, with three individual teams of nine participants, and a supervisor. Landcare Tasmania Executive Officer Mark Ritchie is looking forward to the additional value the team will provide the community.

“The Green Army will provide some much needed support to our community landcare groups to help tackle some of the bigger jobs they face. Many of our groups are struggling with volunteer numbers and don’t always have the horsepower to get things done.  The program will also provide valuable longer term experiences and skills for these team members in a range of broader environmental activities and hopefully they might consider a career in the natural resource management area into the future.”

Conservation Volunteers Australia’s Steve Bailey says the program also provides good life skills and can provide direction for the young participants.

The program provides the opportunity for young people to acquire not just practical skills and accredited training, but to have the opportunity to learn about life, what it’s like to be part of a cohesive team and that diversity is healthy in the workplace. The program isn’t necessarily about steering participants into a ‘green career’ but often it does provide the stimulus for thinking ahead, for planning for the future, beyond the life of their Green Army experience.”

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