09 December 2013 Tree to symbolise the role of Indigenous students at Breezes

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) last week planted a tree to commemorate the successful launch to its partnership with Greening Australia at Breezes Muirhead.

Through DHA’s residential development, the Breezes Muirhead Indigenous Training Program has been delivering on-site training and horticultural knowledge to local Indigenous students since July this year.

“In planning our Breezes residential development we were very careful to involve the Darwin community,” DHA Managing Director Peter Howman said. “This agreement is just another way that we can give back to the community that has supported us.”

“So far the program has been very successful. One of the current participants has gained employment in the wider community thanks to his new skills.”

The program is open to up to 10 participants at any one time, and each semester runs for 22 weeks, during which time participants will attend three face-to-face training sessions each week.

“The program gives Indigenous trainees a rare opportunity to gain hands-on experience at the Breezes residential development, as well as in the Greening Australia Native Nursery,” Mr Howman said. “They are also completing the program with qualifications in conservation and land management, which they will be able to use in the wider community.”

Greening Australia is coordinating the program by providing a vehicle, trainers and course materials. Each week participants attend theory, practical and commercial workshops, including landscape maintenance activities, seed collection, tube stock planting and park planting.

“The plants that the students produce in the Greening Australia Native Nursery during their course will then be planted within the Breezes residential development to create a living legacy,” Mr Howman said. “The tree that we are planting today has been nurtured by the students and will forever symbolise the part they have played in this development.”

Breezes is situated on a 167 hectares site at Muirhead, 16 kilometres north of Darwin’s CBD. On completion it will include more than 30 hectares of public open space, five kilometres of cycleways and walkways, a fitness circuit and four community parks with quality playground equipment and barbecue facilities.

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