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Community garden back to grassroots

SHANE'S DREAM JOB: Shane Tull, one of 13 trainees undertaking the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, says he wants to use the skills he learns through the program to become a park ranger one day.
SHANE'S DREAM JOB: Shane Tull, one of 13 trainees undertaking the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, says he wants to use the skills he learns through the program to become a park ranger one day. Sean Fox

BEHIND the bustling traffic and busy shopfronts of Musgrave St, lies a haven for 13 locals toiling towards their dream jobs.

Shane Tull has come a long way in the two months since the trainee put on a pair of gloves in a bid to some day become a park ranger.

The Central Queenslader has dug into the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiate to grow the Armstrong St community garden, which has sparked an interest in him to grow fresh produce.

Shane thought it would be a great method to keep grocery costs down and hoped it would be a stepping stone to enable him to become a park ranger.

He has performed various tasks which include planting corn in the garden, mulching and weeding.

Shane, along with the other trainees, has also planted Australian natives, vegetables, herbs, sunflowers, macadamia nuts, African corn and bananas.

A "share box” at the front of the garden is filled with extra plants for nearby residents to come out and take some home.

Trainees are also taught how to go for a job interview, communication and monetary skills.

Multicultural Development Australia (MDA) course supervisor Sonia Thomas said the initiative funds the trainees to learn about conservation and land management.

Sonia said the trainees would work hard for another two months to complete their conservation and land management Certificate I, before another round of trainees take their place.

Sonia said she wanted to attract many people to come a plant a variety of different crops.

"We're trying to turn this into a cultural garden,” Sonia said.

In 2013, the Rockhampton Regional Council handed the park over to the local community to turn into a community garden.

This year, MDA took over the lease for the garden.

On Saturday, an information session will be held from 4pm in Armstrong St for community members to see what is happening and the future plans for the garden.



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