Inspiring opportunities for Hobart’s new residents

STUDENTS at TasTAFE are participating in a project to connect new Australian residents with their local community and environment.

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) recently welcomed 30 adult English language students to Glenorchy’s community nursery as part of a series of Cross Cultural Conservation projects.

CVA state manager Renae Riviere said the project promoted social inclusion.

“Most of us know how hard it can be to form social connections when you move to a new community, but when you move from another country and don’t speak the language very well, the challenge is huge,” she said.

“This project will give migrants, refugees and asylum seekers an opportunity to meet and spend time with people who are established in the Hobart community, as well as to learn about their local environment through participating in conservation projects.”

During the 11-month program, the students will visit a range of locations and volunteer alongside local Tasmanian volunteers.

The planned activities include native plant propagation, garden maintenance, tree planting, shoreline clean-ups and growing food at a local shared vegetable garden space.

Everyone will be encouraged to bring a plate of food to share over morning tea or lunch, allowing students to share a dish from their culture and to practice their English.

“This is by far the most rewarding program I have ever been involved in,” Ms Riviere said.

“I’m so happy that CVA is now able to expand this project to involve more people and more locations.

“It is wonderful to see the students making a connection with Australia and our environment in a different way than they would in an urban area.”

A pilot of this program was successfully run last year with more than 200 plants planted at Roscommon Reserve, Acton Park.

This project is funded by the Tasmanian Government through Sports, Recreation and Communities.

For more information, visit www.conservationvolunteers.com.au.

Caption: TasTafe students taking part in the program’s activities.

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The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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