Key words: community volunteers, environmental repair, revegetation, multiculturalism
A successful one-off revegetation project in the Yarriambiack Shire, Victoria, has led to ‘Yarrilinks’ – an annual revegetation event that combines environmental benefit, community involvement, cultural exchange, lots of fun and friendship. Yarrilinks is one of several Wimmera Biolink Plantout events which happen throughout the year across the region. The plantouts build on broader biolink programs coordinated by Wimmera Catchment Management Authority as part of the Federal Government’s Caring for our Country program.
The unique feature of Yarrilinks is its partnerships with the Melbourne-based Adult Multicultural Education Services and Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning programs. This offers an opportunity for new residents of Australia, often refugees from wars in their own countries, to engage with local families closely working within a rural Australian environment. Through this event, held each August, local families and new arrivals learn from each other, experiencing new cultures whilst building up the environment.
The project works by local families hosting the visitors. Between 30 and 40 local families participate each year, with about 500 visitors being hosted from 24 different nationalities over the past 12 years. The weekend community events have enabled the planting of 120,000 plants on 40 different sites on farms and roadsides.
On 6-7 August this year, paddocks in the Yarriambiack Shire came alive with volunteers from the local area and the Melbourne-based Adult Multicultural Education Services and Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning programs. The 2011 weekend was the 13th Yarrilinks event.
Contact: People wanting to find out more about Yarrilinks can phone Rae Talbot at Wimmera CMA on (03) 5382 1544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org