As a successful participating organisation in this large Commonwealth Government initiative, and partnering with Conservation Volunteers Australia, the Desert Uplands Committee enabled teams of un/under-employed youth of Barcaldine to be trained and upskilled in a wide variety of skills that monitored and improved environments and their ecologies.
In two rounds of pairs of twenty weeks, led by an experienced youth worker and environmental advocate, groups of four worked through scheduled tasks on the towns’ Commons and adjoining private lands, plus on particular properties with significant ecological or cultural assets or practices. These tasks involved debris removal from and amenity enhancement to the Commons; weed identification, spraying and removal; Indigenous cultural training and site preservation works; fence removal, repairs and construction; and for the town’s public buildings, forecourt garden design, construction, irrigation and planting. All activities and upskilling was guided and fitted within the framework of environmental certificates I II & III. Also, being active in public places doing civic tasks meant working with Council and other staff, these interpersonal work skills were also improved.
Through the Green Army Program ended prematurely, the two rounds undertaken mostly within the Barcaldine and southern Desert Uplands area successfully trained the two teams of young men who then progressed to other employment. The clean-up of the Barcaldine Common was massive and has enabled the progression of the Aridlands Botanical Gardens concept.