Journalist Tahlia McPherson writes in the Border Mail on 6 March 2015:
THE first Green Army team on the Border graduated yesterday and said they felt like they had made a “real difference”.
A total of nine people spent the past six months doing track and fire maintenance, weeding, fencing and cementing in Albury-Wodonga.
Graduate Bethany Gillard from Lavington said it was a practical experience she would happily do again.
“I think some of things we have done have made an impact, like around Oddies Creek where it’s quite heavily weeded, already we have made a dent there getting the weeds out,” she said.
“It’s pretty cool to see how things change and that you’re making a difference that way.”
Kyle Fredricksen said he felt like he had graduated with a range of new skills including how to use small machinery, heavy duty brush cutters and poison applicators.
Maria Bertoncini led the group and attributed the success of the program to Conservation Volunteers Australia and Parklands Albury Wodonga.
She said it was “awesome” to see young people work together.
“For those who were long term unemployed, it was like a lifeline for them and a good break from the welfare benefit cycle,” she said.
“Not only did they gain ownership and respect for the environment, but we did a lot of work on CV and cover notes, they learnt really valuable employment skills.”
To apply for the next team, head to www.conservationvolunteers.com.au