IMPACT Community Services’ Green Gang trainees and Council’s natural areas team are extending the boardwalk at Sharon Gorge to improve access.
IMPACT employees working on the boardwalk are currently studying their Certificate I in Conservation and Ecosystem Management, with the program employing up to 10 trainees.
Council’s Parks and Gardens spokesperson Cr Wayne Honor said the project had been a great opportunity to improve the facilities at Sharon Gorge while making the walk more accessible to the public.
“During the recent rain events there has been damage to the Sharon Gorge walking track, and these works provide us the opportunity to improve the track and raise the height of the boardwalk, so it lasts longer,” Cr Honor said.
“Trainees from IMPACT Community Services have lent a helping hand to build the boardwalk in partnership with our Natural Areas team which is a fantastic opportunity for them to gain hands on experience.
“Upgrading the path by extending the boardwalk provides a safer and easily accessible path for our visitors.”
IMPACT Community Services is assisting in the project through their Work Skills Traineeships – Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program.
Supervisor Rob Alder said the project provided the opportunity for their trainees to gain hands on experience to assist in building up their self-confidence.
“We have got ten trainees in conservation and ecosystem management who are employed by IMPACT Community Services with the help of SQW funding from the Queensland Government,” Rob said.
“This group of trainees are into their fourteenth week and have been doing other tasks but are really enjoying being out here doing the boardwalk.
“Projects like these give them the opportunity to upskill which is really important as some of these people may have lost their self-esteem.”
Rob said the trainees had come from a range of different backgrounds and the projects were a chance for them to make a difference within the community.
“The trainees might be youths straight out of school who have found it tough to get into the workforce or sometimes it is mothers who are re-entering the workforce after bringing up their kids or it could be people who want to change career,” he said.
“They might have started off being a concreter or a brick layer or something like that, but as they get on a little bit their body is not up to what they used to do so they need a bit of guidance as they may be down in the dumps because they have tried so many jobs and they cannot seem to get a job.
“Some of them were a little bit hesitant at first because they had never used any carpentry tools or anything like that, they also had to work out how to go around an arc in a boardwalk and work out the boards.
“Now they have been doing it for a week now they feel right at home, and they can sit back and look and think ‘wow what a difference we have made’.”
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