Wiradjuri Condobolin Corp

Minister Rudd to open study centre amidst DA controversy

WCC project management team: Reginal Saddler, Rebecca Merritt, Donna Johnson, Neil Ingram and John Spencer. DGBy Dominic Geiger

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed he will officially open the Wiradjuri Study Centre in Condobolin on September 27.

C.E.O of Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), Percy Knight, said Mr Rudd had been chosen as a result of the former PM’s apology to the stolen generation in 2008.

“In that speech he mentioned a new beginning for all Australians,” Percy said.

“He mentioned that phrase three or four times, and that’s what we’ve been trying to achieve with the study centre since 2003.

“The WSC makes a statement about this new beginning and about the stolen generation and says let’s now move forward; let’s make sure that never happens again.

“The study centre takes into consideration how we as Aboriginal people see things and how we learn; it’s a learning centre first and foremost, but it’s also a cultural centre.

“With it, we’re closing the gaps on employment opportunities on a local level.”

Percy said there had been some initial concerns Mr Rudd wouldn’t be able to attend the ceremony given his recent heart operation, but since his recovery the green light had been given for the minister’s visit.

“Of course he could also be called overseas, given his high profile, but we’re going to take a gamble on it,” he said.

Despite a date having been set for the official opening of the centre, WCC is yet to meet all the criteria for the Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) imposed development application on the building.

As such, WCC is yet to be granted full occupancy of the building and is currently occupying the building as a management team.

General Manager of the Lachlan Shire Council, George Cowan, said council was working with the management of WCC to resolve the issue.

“These issues have been ongoing throughout the course of the buildings construction,” he said.

“Council is hopeful these matters can be addressed and the building can be put to use, though these are not insignificant issues.”

Percy said the bureaucratic arm of LSC had been needlessly picky in its scrutinising of the development application.

“I have no problem with the councillors, however the bureaucratic element of the council has been very needlessly pedantic with its due diligence,” he said.

“We are doing our best to deal with these issues, though we feel these issues are not OH&S.

“I have said that if the council continues to be pedantic there is a mood within Wiradjuri people that this day could be a day of celebration or a day of protest.”

Flo Grant, from the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, said it was very exciting to see something which had come from nothing bloom into fruition.

“I’ve been there from the beginning, watching people make their own bricks and build with them; it’s been quite exciting,” she said.

“There are, however, a few issues, mostly from the bureaucratic side, affecting the project.

“We do not accept people not giving back what belongs to us.

“This centre has been independently earned; it’s ours and we’re not going to let it go.”

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation named as a top Australian Employer

WCC employees: Warwick Saddler, Jerome Coe-Williams, Jared Coe, Kenny Gardner, Marley Dargin, Todd Coe, Scott Sadler and Project Manager John Spencer.Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) has recently been named as a finalist in the National Employment Awards for Excellence in recognition of the organisation’s commitment to closing the gap on employment opportunities for local Aboriginal people.

Servicing a membership base of more than 400, the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) is chartered with providing a better quality of life for local Wiradjuri people through the development of employment and economic opportunities.

The awards are an initiative of the National Employment Services Association (NESA).

WCC was recognised for its effort in improving employment opportunities for Indigenous job seekers and providing economic independence for the Condobolin Aboriginal community.

Percy Knight, CEO of the WCC, said the WCC recognises Aboriginal Australians are the most disadvantaged group within Australia’s labour market.

“We link employment to training and not training for employment,” he said.

“We find the jobs, then we find the people who want them, then train the person so their skills are relevant to the employer’s needs.

“We are trying to skill our people up; I am very excited about this award because it recognises our organisation on a national level.”

As a result of successful cooperation with Central West Community College, more than two thirds of WCC’s workforce are former disadvantaged job seekers, now employed across the corporation’s eleven business units.

NESA CEO, Sally Sinclair, said while the awards recognise a special few, all organisations that deliver Australian Government contracted employment services have achieved something remarkable by helping millions of Australians into work.

“These awards are in recognition of those dedicated professionals who are working in the Job Services Australia system,” she said.

“There are few programs that truly acknowledge the direct and lasting impact that employment services have on improving the social fabric of our society.

“The NESA Awards for Excellence do this” she said.

Wiradjuri art on display at study centre

Left to right: Isaac Burrell, Percy Knight, Jesse Burrell, Tasha Stewart and Terry Williams with artwork by Gloria Reid. The larger painting in the background tells the story of the connection between the old camp at the Murie and the settlement at Willow Bend in Condobolin.

By Dominic Geiger

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) has recently held an exhibition titled “Art of the Wiradjuri” at the organisation’s newly constructed study centre.
The exhibition was held as a model to discover how artists felt their work could be displayed at future exhibitions in Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Bathurst.
Project manager for the exhibition, Terry Williams, said “Art of the Wiradjuri” included many different styles and designs including traditional, contemporary, photography and craft.
“We thought we’d try to exhibit across as many genres as possible,” he said.
“Today is about developing a display model; this exhibition is one of many more to come.
Terry said the exhibition had been established to build upon the artistic traditions of the Wiradjuri people.
“(Art) has long been recognised as an important aspect of Wiradjuri life and culture,” he said.
“The exhibition is a method which seeks to encourage and establish new emerging artists in both the maintaining and developing of important works.
“The ‘Art of the Wiradjuri’ is open for applications for the winter exhibition… it is not a competition but will be a stepping stone for local artists to unmask their work.”
Isaac Burrell, who travelled from Gilgandra to see the exhibition, said he was impressed with the work on display.
“I wanted to come and have a look because my aunty has done some of the (art) work and my uncle helped build the doors (of the study centre),” he said.
The exhibition will travel to other locations in the Wiradjuri nation around the end of June.

Sixth potential site announced for Condobolin Skatepark

By Dominic Geiger

Lachlan Shire Council has temporarily suspended the public consultation process for the proposed skatepark development in Condobolin following the announcement of a sixth potential site at the Wiradjuri Study Centre.
The skatepark project, which has seen numerous delays since its inception over ten years ago, will be put on hiatus until council can liaise with the CEO of Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), Percy Knight, in regards to building the park on study centre grounds.
General Manager of the Lachlan Shire, George Cowan, said a report from the consultation process with Percy would be brought to the June council meeting.
“Council (will then) determine whether the new site will be added to the other five for community consultation,” he said.
“I will be meeting with Percy sometime this week to discuss the matter further.”
Percy said he was “open minded” about the possibility of a skatepark being built on study centre grounds.
“I’m certainly prepared to talk to council about (the project),” he said.
“If the skatepark is to go ahead it will require amendments to the development application, but that’s just part of due process.”
Percy also said he was considering the possibility of building an internet cafe on study centre grounds to offer an additional place for young people to socialise.
“Establishing a supervised net cafe would offer something for the kids who aren’t interested in the skatepark,” he said.
“We would provide computers and internet but of course the cafe would have to be managed properly.
“We need to be really strategic and proactive about these projects; they need to be managed in a cooperative and collaborative way, but all those issues can be worked out.”

Frank forum held at Wiradjuri Study Centre

By Dominic Geiger

The newly constructed Wiradjuri Study Centre (WSC) has faced its first test as a facility designed to encourage frank community discussion following a recent heated community forum on April 29.
The meeting, which was organised by the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), was held in order to address an existing division within the Condobolin Aboriginal Community.
The seminar focused on ongoing controversy relating to the project currently underway at the Murie – a former Aboriginal settlement south of Condobolin.
The project is a Condobolin Local Aboriginal Land Council (CLALC) initiative which aims to revitalise the area by planting native vegetation and building several small information sheds.
At the meeting, several opposing viewpoints from the WCC and CLALC relating to the project were brought to light including the potential for a commercial yabbie farm to be built at the billabong.
Despite at the time a tense nature of the forum, C.E.O of the WCC, Percy Knight, said there had been no sense of anger following the meeting amongst the majority of those who attended.
“We acknowledge the (CLALC) has an important role to play; we both have important roles to play,” he said.
“The study centre promotes dialogue; it’s a community engagement centre and we were testing the waters with this community forum.
“After the meeting we put on a barbecue and there was a relaxed atmosphere in the air.”

Language seminar held at Wiradjuri Study Centre

By Dominic Geiger

Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) recently held a Wiradjuri Language Seminar at its Condobolin study centre.
Event facilitator, Terry Williams said the aim of the seminar was to develop a “draft scaffold teaching plan” which would allow for Wiradjuri languages to be taught in all schools within the Wiradjuri region of NSW.
“Today we’ve been developing resource materials and utilising the resources we have in the hope the language will become a formal part of the school curriculum as part of language development,” he said.
“In the same way students in the past have learnt French or Chinese, they would now learn Wiradjuri.
“We think our goals are extremely realistic; the language is already taught in many schools.
“As long as schools teach the language as part of a consolidated and continuous teaching program it will be successful.”
The Wiradjuri language is no longer in general use, however there have been significant efforts made in recent years to revive the language.
Wiradjuri Elder Stan Grant Snr, who was at the seminar, released ‘A First Wiradjuri Dictionary’ in conjunction with Dr John Rudder in 2005.
Terry said Uncle Stan Grant Snr had played an incredible role in reviving the language.
“He is a fluent in both speaking and teaching the language,” Terry said.
“He has been instrumental in taking a spoken language and turning it into a written language.”
The seminar attracted people from all around the Wiradjuri nation including Dubbo, Wagga Wagga and Parkes.
Terry said it was likely another seminar would be held in the coming weeks.

Guarding the security of Condobolin

The newly graduated security guards. D.G.By Dominic Geiger

A sausage sizzle was held last Thursday for a group of thirteen Condobolin residents who recently completed an ‘Unarmed Guard Crowd Control’ or ‘AC’ security guard training course.
The course, which comprised of 80 hours training at the Wiradjuri Study Centre, was facilitated by Rebecca Merritt and Nathan Dodgson from Dodgson’s Security and funded by the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation.
All graduates will now be registered as provisional security guards and are able to provide security to venues and events around New South Wales.
Security Trainer Lorraine Judd has been training security guards in regional areas of NSW for the past thirteen years.
She said the graduates would now need to go through several on the job assessments over a twelve month period before they were granted with either a 1a or 1c full security license.
“During their upcoming work, they’ll be assessed on their conduct and how well they perform tasks,” she said.
“Over the next twelve months they can be hired as crowd control, mobile patrol or for any number of other security related jobs.”
Course Facilitator, Rebecca Merritt, said most of the graduates already had full time jobs, but could now be called on if security guards were required.
“There aren’t many security guards in Condobolin, so this gives us a better chance to provide security for the town,” she said.
“Everyone who’s gone through the course has done really well.”

Wiradjuri Study Centre receives blessing

WCC CEO Percy Knight with Pastor Bob Brown with his slide guitar. DGBy Dominic Geiger

A ceremony was held last Friday at the newly constructed Wiradjuri Study Centre (WSC) to bless the building and bring together members of the Condobolin Wiradjuri community.
The blessing included a smoking ceremony and a sermon presented by former Condobolin Pastor Bob Brown.
Percy Knight, CEO of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) said the blessing was important because it brought good luck to the centre and helped create the framework of a new beginning for the Condobolin Wiradjuri people.
“Many of the Wiradjuri people in Condobolin are made up of people from the old Aboriginal missions, based in Murie and Willow Bend, so we’re singing old hymns to show how important the building is to not only our people but to the wider community,” he said.
“We’re translating a lot of music to language; we have Stan Grant here today who is a prominent Wiradjuri speaker.
“The song ‘Amazing Grace’ will be sung in Wiradjuri.”
“It’s important the Wiradjuri community embraces and supports this centre so this ceremony is part of that process.
“Today is about remembering the past, but not dwelling on it, and looking towards the future.”
Pastor Bob Brown said the day was important because Condobolin has been a historical centre for Christianity in Aboriginal people.
“There were a number of other outreach centres established from Condobolin, such as Cowra, Griffith and many others.”

No school no play initiative

By Dominic Geiger

A new initiative targeting truancy in New South Wales and Queensland schools will be launched in Condobolin this April with the help of the Federal Government, Australian Rugby League and the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC).
CEO of the WCC Percy Knight said the program provided an incentive for all school kids to remain in school.
“The kids are going to feel isolated from their peers who are allowed to play sport if they don’t come to school,” he said.
“It’s designed to encourage all kids to come to school, but with a particular emphasis on indigenous kids living in country areas.
Percy said the WCC will act as a conduit for the funds by holding discussions with personnel in high schools and then distributing funds based on what’s been identified as an issue.
“The program provides financial support and resources to encourage these kids to come to school initially and to stay at school throughout the day,” he said.
“[Representatives from] Country Rugby League NSW will come to the school once a week and they’ll run programs designed to help kids.
“The Deputy Principal at Condobolin High School has been extremely supportive of the program.”
Rick Walford, Indigenous Manager for the Australian Rugby League, said the aim of the program was encouraging kids to participate in school and sport.

Wiradjuri workshop encourages employment opportunities

Workshop participants gather in the main circle at the newly constructed Wiradjuir Study Centre, Condobolin.  They are in front of  an original Lake Cowal scar tree topped by an eagle carved by Adam Umphries and designed by Percy Knight. The eagle symbolizes the spiritual journey of Aboriginal people and the quest of reconnection with passed loved ones. D. G.

By Dominic Geiger

A major community workshop aiming to promote Aboriginal employment, training and business development was held at the newly constructed Wiradjuri Study Centre (WSC) last week.
The event featured representatives from various levels of government, the Aboriginal community and multiple industries.
An initiative of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), the workshop also included a very strong focus on the partnership currently being fostered between Aboriginal communities and the mining industry.
Grant Sarra, Workshop Facilitator, said despite the emphasis on mining relations, it was important to mention not all Aboriginal people wanted or were able to work in a mine.
“The workshop is helping facilitate a collaborative process between Aboriginal people and mining companies, but also about giving Aboriginal people the chance to go in to other industries,” he said.
“We’re putting an emphasis on work readiness training, employment and business development, with a concentrated effort in the Central West.
“There’s no attacking each other in this meeting; we’re bringing people in to neutral areas, using humanity and making people humble.
“It’s a good environment and a much more cost effective strategy.”
Percy Night, WCC CEO said an employment and mentorship agreement with transport company Linfox had also been established at the workshop.
“We are aiming to establish a national Indigenous transport company based in the Central West where Linfox will act as a mentor,” he said.
“Linfox has also agreed to employ a significant number of Aboriginal people from the Central West, and get them started on a career path in a global company.”
The Wiradjuri Study Centre will be officially opened in the coming months.

Condobolin leads the way in compost management

By Dominic Geiger

Representatives of the City to Soil Groundswell waste separation project were in Condobolin earlier this month to congratulate the community on its recent green waste and compost recycling efforts.
Begun three years ago as a joint project in four NSW shires, Groundswell has gained momentum and is now run as an initiative of the Wiradjuri  Condobolin Corporation (WCC) in conjunction with the Lachlan Shire Council.
Groundswell Project Manager Simone Dilkara said the effort Condobolin residents had shown separating green waste from other rubbish had proved them to be “the shining light of the project.”
“The people of Condobolin have done such a great job,” she said.
“They’ve really shown the rest of the country that people are prepared to separate their waste into organic matter and rubbish.”
Barbara Pamphilon, a researcher from the University of Canberra and partner with the project said Groundswell workers had documented the work done in Condobolin in the form of a DVD available on the group’s website.
“We also produced hard copies but they’ve been snapped up by other shires around the country,” she said.
“Basically what we’re doing with our research is to look at the lessons learnt in Condobolin so other councils in Australia can learn from them.
“Landfill is a huge environmental issue in Australia and we hope to eventually reduce landfill by 50% with this program.”
Lisa Hibbert, WCC Finance Manager, said the project was doing a fantastic job offering employment to local Aboriginal people as well as creating opportunities for Condobolin business owners.
“Groundswell as a project with City to Soil has come to an end, but WCC will continue to operate the project,” she said.
“We’re the people doing the day stuff with the compost; not only are we employing people but we’re also training people and providing certificates two and three in waste management.
“People are now disposing of green waste in a useful way; we’ve had an incredible trial period and the people of Condobolin have done themselves proud so we’ll be continuing the project.”

Indigenous All STAR regional tour in Condobolin

On January 24th, the Learn. Earn. Legend! The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars Regional Tour will visit Condobolin as part of a tour to acknowledge Rugby League’s bond with Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and help showcase the efforts of these communities in supporting Indigenous Australians.
The free event is open to all members of the public who will be able to participate in a range of sporting, arts and cultural activities including Backyard League and Kids to Kangaroos games, visits from Rugby League’s One Community ambassadors, BBQs, community stalls and the chance to take their photo with the NRL Telstra Premiership Trophy.
The Tour is taking place with the support of the Federal Government’s Learn. Earn. Legend! campaign, a legacy of the inaugural All Stars game which encourages young Indigenous Australians to stay in school and aspire to success in the workplace, as well as helping them make the transition from education to employment.
“The town of Condobolin and its neighboring towns are very excited that the All Stars Regional Tour is coming our way,” CEO of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation and former Balmain and Canberra player, Percy Knight, said.
“The Tour will be a great opportunity for the kids of the region to experience first-hand some of the things they love about Rugby League and also be represented at the All Stars game through the local Indigenous artwork.
“Our kids look up to Rugby League players as their heroes and this Tour will help inspire them to chase their own dreams of becoming quality people in their own right.”

JANUARY  24TH PROGRAM

4.30 pm Welcome to Country by Anna Dargin Wiradjuri Study Centre (WSC)– Mcdonnell Street. Percy Knight CEO of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC) will facilitate this visit.
5.00 Condoblin Googars Aboriginal Dance peformance.
5.30 Head to SRA Grounds, Diggers Ave or old Lake Cargelligo Road for sporting workshops, community activities and a BBQ.
A local artwork canvas will be produced with local artists Bev Coe and Gloria Reid which will feature centre field at the All Stars Game in 2011.
Backyard League and Kids to Kangaroos sports workshops to be delivered by Australian Rugby League Development Staff
NRL Premierships Trophy displays
NRL Player participation
Merchandise packs and apparel promotions
One Community (Dream, Believe, Achieve) messages to be delivered by selected NRL Players, along with All Stars Coach, Laurie Daley
7pm draw to a close.

Condobolin to host Indigenous NRL All Stars

The 2011 Indigenous All Stars NRL team are currently touring regional NSW and will be visiting Condobolin in January 2011Condobolin will play host to the renowned Indigenous NRL All Stars who will embark on a regional tour early in 2011 arriving in Condobolin on Monday 24 January 2011.
With names like Greg Inglis, Preston Campbell, Scott Prince and Johnathan Thurston announced as players, the team will come to Condobolin as part of their regional tour with the purpose of producing local Indigenous artwork canvases representative of communities across NSW.
With a brief outline of events so far organised Otis Williams of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation said he is looking to set up a committee of interested parties to work out what activities they will plan for the day. People interested should contact Otis at 80 Bathurst Street, Condobolin or on 6895 4664.

Study centre relays language message

The Wiradjuri Study Centre held an Aboriginal Languages workshop recentlyAlthough it is yet to be completed and officially opened, the Wiradjuri Study Centre is already being utilized with the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) holding an Aboriginal Languages workshop on the premises recently.
As part of a series of regional forums relating to Aboriginal languages, 20 Wiradjuri participants and one Mutthi Mutthi member took part in the forum which looked at ideas and strategies in how best to move Aboriginal languages into the future.
Executive Officer with the AECG Ray Ingrey said it was a privilege to be in the heart of Wiradjuri country leading the workshop.
“The workshop provides a good opportunity for people to network and share resources and their language journeys,” Ray said.
With the forum targeted at employees of the Department of Education and Training, TAFE and community members, participants took part in a range of lectures and discussions including a talk led by representatives from Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Centre.
Photo and article by Sally Willoughby.

Copping it Prowdly in the West

The new recruits from IPROWD visit the WCC Study Centre with Percy Knight (far right)By Sally Willoughby

The Police force is due to get a boost in Indigenous recruits with the third intake of the inspiring IPROWD program, initiated and delivered by Dubbo TAFE, visiting Condobolin’s Wiradjuri Study Centre last week before their graduation on 26 November.
The Indigenous Police Recruitment Out West Delivery (IPROWD) initiative, which includes Condobolin’s Josh Taylor and Murrin Bridge’s Aliesha Harris, visited the Study Centre last week to be mentored by Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation Chairperson Percy Knight.
“A key part of this course is to reinstall pride in their race,” said Senior Project Officer with Department of Employment and Workplace Relations Rob Perrin.
“By coming here they’re coming back to the Wiradjuri heartland and Percy will speak to them about who they are and [the need] for intestinal fortitude.
“Even if they don’t go into the police force it gives them the skills and confidence for whatever they want to do – it’s about giving them the confidence and skills to go after what they want,” Rob said.
The IPROWD program was instigated in 2008 by Dubbo Tafe with the aim of working in conjunction with the Western NSW Police Force and Charles Sturt University to assist Aboriginal candidates to enter the Police Force and encourage future Aboriginal police officers to work in western communities.
The six month course comprises a Certificate III in Vocational and Study Pathways with a diverse syllabus including language and literacy, ethics, resolution and communication skills, numeracy, first aid and a rigorous fitness regime to prepare them for the recruitment process of joining the Police Force.
With 100 percent completion rate across three years thus far, the success of the Dubbo pilot course will see the program roll out across the state said IPROWD coordinator and teacher Cathy Jones.
“The course is incredibly competitive and most students have left full time employment for this second chance at a career,” Cathy said.
“The course is about training them to be resilient and have pride in their Aboriginality…it’s a student driven program and firmly embedded in the Western community,” she said.
Condobolin student  Josh Taylor said he endeavours to join the navy when he graduates from the course which he said helped him build his confidence and skill level.
“We go through a lot of the law side [of joining the Police Force] and do a lot of training to build our fitness,” he said.
Previous graduates who have entered the Force include five constables, one Aboriginal Communication Liaison Officer (ACLO) and one full time administration officer with NSW Police.
Two students from the 2010 graduation class have already been recruited into the January intake of NSW Police recruits with six due to enter in May 2011.

WSC features scarred tree

The scarred tree in its central position at WSCBy Sally Willoughby
An 800 kilogram, culturally significant, Aboriginal scarred tree was recently installed at the Wiradjuri Study Centre in collaboration with the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, Barrick Cowal Gold Mine and local contractors.
Aboriginal scarred trees are historical artefacts created by Indigenous tribes who would make deep cuts in a tree with a stone axe with the bark intended for the formation of shelters, shields, canoes and coolamons.
Chief Executive Officer of the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation, Percy Knight, said the installation of the tree was of great cultural significance and provided a focal point for the study centre.
“The tree signifies that the Wiradjuri Study Centre is a place of cultural knowledge and history to the local Wiradjuri people,” Mr Knight said.
The 800 kilogram artefact underwent a major assembly process secured by a stainless steel footing by G&S Fabrications.
The whole internal part of the tree was cleaned out and lined with fiberglass resin and then filled with special quick-set concrete with the actual scar of the tree reinforced by Simon Carey and Cary L’Estrange.
A crane was used to secure the tree in place.
The scarred tree was housed at Lake Cowal Gold Mine and then relocated recently before its installation under a permit from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water.

Condobolin compost is a high scorer

A quality product ready for the garden: Eugene Coe, Lisa Hibbert and Tim Atkinson.By Sally Willoughby
Condobolin’s Groundswell City to Soil project has produced the highest grade for compost by industry standards in what employees of the project say is due to the diligent support of  the local community.
In an initiative designed to collect household organic waste and process this into high quality compost the local project, run under the Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation and Lachlan Shire Council auspices, has diverted 750 tonnes of green waste from landfill.
Coordinator of the local City to Soil project, Lisa Hibbert, said their aim was to prove the wider economic viability of the City to Soil collection system and its composting product as a cost effective and high quality agriculture input.
“The purpose of the [City to Soil] project is to assess the viability of an urban domestic collection of source separated green waste and to use this material to prepare organic compost for subsequent application to broad acre farms or other relevant land use,” Lisa said.
“We have had an amazing amount of support over the past three years from the town who have really worked hard to embrace the nature and importance of this project,” she said.
Forty to 70 percent of urban waste currently going to landfill is organic material with this project highlighting the need for environmental responsibility.
“In the last three years this project has diverted 750 tonnes of green waste from landfill which when completed will go back into the earth,” Lisa said.
“This is a response to a waste management plan and we all have to be responsive to that,” she said.
With the highest industry rating allocated, the Condobolin compost is now available at Affordable Furniture and Uncle’s Fuels for $11 a bag.
In addition to a high-grade end product that supports environmental sustainability, the City to Soil project has also supported the local community in job employment and training.
Six students involved in the project have completed their Certificate II in Waste Management at the Western Institute of Tafe under teacher Dennis Byrne and will now progress on to Certificate III.
“The training has focused on providing skills for team members and has ensured processing protocols have been followed through each stage,” Lisa said.
“The benefit of this alliance is learning and skill development are practiced and implemented on the project and any arising issues can be managed and form an integral part of the learning process,” she said.
With the project funding coming to an end the focus now is to continue the City to Soil scheme and turn it into a commercially viable and sustainable initiative for ongoing development.
Ideas including taking the compost down other avenues including potting mixture and approaching bigger companies to dispose of their organic waste through City to Soil.
The City to Soil compost is available from Affordable Furniture, Bathurst Street, and Uncle’s Fuels, Parkes Rd, Condobolin at $11 a bag and $10 if you return the bag for refilling.
City to Soil green waste pick ups occurr fortnightly in Condobolin township.

Local Men’s Shed to foster understanding

Condobolin men work hard to complete the Condobolin Indigenous Men's ShedBy Sally Willoughby
In a project designed to foster community support and bridge the gap between the younger and older generation, members of the local community are working together to get the Condobolin Indigenous Men’s Shed completed as soon as possible.
With a band of local volunteers currently building the shed at the back of the Wiradjuri Study Centre site, the initiative is designed to give the men of Condobolin a place to congregate and cultivate mateship while also being an access point for health education and awareness and assistance with drug and alcohol issues.
“We’re looking to unite the community and bring the older and younger people together – black or white – and help them with anything they want to talk about,” said President of the Indigenous Men’s Shed Jimmy Nolan.
“We’ve opened the door to all people and hope to give them something where they don’t just get help but can also come together in a place where they know people care about them,” Jimmy said.
With plans to run health awareness talks and possibly employment strategy talks in the long-term the group, which already has over 20 members, also hope to provide services for the community including lawn maintenance for elderly people.
With a focus to bridge the gap between the older and younger generation of Condobolin, Jimmy said the Men’s Shed has members who’ve come from all walks of life and have real advice to give from their own personal experiences.
“I was in the gutter years ago but look where I am now,” said Jimmy.
“This project has been one of the things that has driven me and allowed me to put something back into the community that helped me work through my problems”.
“[The Men’s Shed] are looking to unite the community and break down barriers and once we show people, particularly the young people, that there are people out there who care for them…their entire attitude changes,” he said.
Under coordinators Brian Clemson, Kevin Read and Kevin Griffiths the group has a full executive with Jimmy Nolan (President), Stan Porter (Secretary), Bradley Bell (Treasurer) and Willy Gilbert (Publicity Officer) and hope to increase their members before the official opening of the shed.

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