07."Connecting To The Land", Tuggerah Lakes Community Centre.

Uploaded by ACETVAustralia on 24.09.2010

At the Tuggerah Lakes Community College in Berkeley Vale,
90' north of Sydney, students are encouraged to reconnect with the land.
One of many courses at the college is all about Land Management,
with respect for indigenous knowledge and traditions.
We offer a wide range of programs from arts and crafts,
languages and computers, children services up to diploma,
and conservation and land management.
We moved about 14 cubic meters of soil today...
Kevin has just finished his Land Management course.
His motivation was to reconnect with self sustaining
eco-systems and land management. For him the course was about
finding a new orientation for his life.
I had a background of body work and healing and I always felt like
getting back onto the land.
A certificate is something you can put in a filing cabinet
or hang up on the wall
but experience is something you can have that with you all the time.
We actually produce a very fertile system where plants literally jump of out the ground
once the system gets up and running.
And once you've developed the layering, you may mulch in the beginning,
but once you have developed the layering it becomes a self mulching system,
it traps its own humidity, it becomes a self watering system,
it becomes a self managed, replicating how a natural eco-system would work.
And we've now done it on farms and gardens, the system manages itself.
You just come in and harvest it and do basic management on it.
The Land Management course combines many components. From gardening principles,
to indigenous traditions and knowledge.
Maintaining cultural places, interpreting indigenous culture
and then the ecological bush regeneration component.
As you may have seen today there was a rainbow.
I believe now that we create that. We create the incredible oneness with the land.
When they have a chance to reconnect to nature and the environment,
it sort of instills a sense of respect.
My main thing would be that we run courses as a social program.
So it's very much run as a social group, an interacting social group.
Where we do social things but include the course as part of that component.
The last course about 10 people went through. We like to keep
our numbers fairly small so there is that one on one attention.
I've just been employed by Tuggerah Lakes Community
College as a gardener. So that has definitely helped you know
with my financial situation.
Kevin is not the only one in the community who benefits from this course.
We focus a lot on the people in the community that are really struggling.
That might be kids with emotional behavioral disorders
or intellectual disabilities, long-term unemployed,
as well as in the aboriginal community as well...
They have an innate fear of education, of sitting in a classroom.
They have never been told that they can do something.
They've never gained a qualification, so a lot are early school leavers.
Informal training, social contact, and indigenous knowledge transfer
go together well in Berkeley Vale.
What I have learned was so much more. And it really connected the dots in my life.