Army calls for conservation warriors

The iconic Great Ocean Road will once again be home to one of hundreds of environmental projects being rolled out across Australia by participants in the ‘Green Army’.

More than 1,100 Green Army projects have been completed across Australia since the Federal Government funded initiative began in 2014.

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Caitlin Ball and Amy Hunt planted indigenous vegetation along the Great Ocean Road during last years Green Army project.

The Green Army programme offers practical skills, training and experience to school leavers, gap year students, graduates and job seekers aged 17 to 24 over a six month period, whilst also delivering real benefits to the environment.

Green Army Service Provider, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) – in conjunction with project hosts such as the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) – complete conservation projects and provide employment opportunities for several young adults.

CVA Project Officer Jane Shearer said the programme was a fantastic pathway for young people who are interested in pursuing a career in environmental conservation.

“It provides participants with important communication skills, improves their self-confidence and helps deliver practical hands on experience for future employment opportunities,” she said.

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Participants from the 2015 Green Army project with GORCC CEO Richard Davies, Sarah Henderson MP, Greg Hunt MP and GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale.

“Previous Green Army participants have loved working along the Great Ocean Road and the majority have gone on to find full-time or part-time employment in the environmental sector after completing their time with us.”

The Great Ocean Road Green Army team will work on a number of sites undertaking a variety of conservation activities including revegetation, mulching, pest control and monitoring along GORCC managed land.

GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said the Green Army program has helped boost conservation efforts along the coast thanks to the significant increase in people power.

The iconic Great Ocean Road provides the perfect office for Green Army participants.

“It allows land managers such as GORCC to complete important conservation works which would otherwise be unachievable due to a lack of feet on the ground.

“It’s fantastic to see the development of each Green Army participant over the six months as they gain practical skills and build a great understanding of the conservation industry.

“This programme is perfect for those who may not be quite sure what to do for a career, but care about the environment and want to make a difference,” she said.

All equipment, clothing and safety gear is provided and first aid and work health and safety training is also provided.

Ms Shearer said she encouraged anyone is interested in the environment to apply for the projects in their local area and said history had shown that the most successful applications were detailed in their responses.

To apply, complete the online form. Applications close Friday April 22.

Love the environment and want to make a difference? Join the Army today! 

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