A number of organisations in the Inverell and Gwydir Shire areas have been the beneficiaries of much-needed assistance with mowing and general maintenance thanks to a community work program.
Inverell Community Corrections manager Don Smith said in the past two years, people on community service work contributed almost 8,000 hours of work under supervision at Northaven Disability Services, the historic Pioneer Village and Motor Transport Museum.
“The work allows offenders to undertake a pro-social activity and have exposure to positive pro-social models,” Mr Smith said.
“For some offenders, it is one of the few opportunities they have to be engaged in a work environment.”
Mr Smith said the team of workers had also been active at the May Street Park, the Jockey Club, Inverell and Gwydir shire councils and the Myall Creek Memorial.
Inverell East Rotary Club Project Manager for the May Street Park Alistair Williams said the Community Corrections workers had been a great help.
“They’ve been a terrific asset as they were able to clear and maintain the uneven terrain, which has added immeasurably to the general appearance of the area,” Mr Williams said.
Gwydir Shire Community Assets Manager Carmen Southwell said those who worked at the Myall Creek Massacre Memorial site were mentored by Elders and members of the Myall Creek Memorial Committee.
“As they went about maintaining the site they learned the significance of the memorial, becoming truly engaged and their work effort increased,” Ms Southwell said.
Inverell Shire Council Director of Civil and Environmental Services Brett McInnes said the program had assisted in maintaining and presenting community recreational facilities to a high standard.
The President of Inverell Jockey Club Peter Tanner said the workers had been a godsend to his club, especially leading up to race days, and they all take pride in their work.