Gloucester Worimi First Peoples and TIDE plant bush tucker in Gloucester's gardens

Working bee: The group TIDE staff worked to place the plants at Gloucester Public School before heading to Minimbah Community Garden. Photo Anne Keen
Working bee: The group TIDE staff worked to place the plants at Gloucester Public School before heading to Minimbah Community Garden. Photo Anne Keen

It all started with a donation from MidCoast Council to the Gloucester Worimi First Peoples Aboriginal Corporation, and now, Gloucester has a few new native plants.

The $2,000 donation has gone toward purchasing bush tucker plants that have been used to spruce up Gloucester Public School and the Minimbah Community Garden in Gloucester District Park.

To help get the plants in the ground, the Gloucester Worimi First Peoples Aboriginal Corporation called on Taree Indigenous Development and Employment (TIDE) to get the project underway.

On Monday March 18, TIDE's Mid Coast Aboriginal Ranger School Based Traineeship Coordinator, Sean Ploder travelled to Gloucester with a few of his trainees to provide a hand.

It was a busy working bee with several of Gloucester's TIDE rangers including Glenn Jonas, along with Amber Galvin from the Worimi Corporation, and Amie McElroy from the Booroongen Djugun College, who had come down from Kempsey to observe the student trainees. 

According to Sean, this is the first time TIDE has run a school based program, where the students are employed a couple of days a week to work on land conversation around the region. The students, some from Taree High School and others from Chatham High School, are currently in their second year of working toward a certificate which will go toward their HSC.

For Chatham High School student, Troy Clarke the traineeship is all about be connected with the land and "to work on country".

It's precisely this attitude that Gloucester's Glenn Jonas is looking for and trying to encourage in the Gloucester community. While they're aren't currently any work based trainees from Gloucester High School involved at the moment, it's something Glenn is hoping to see in the new near future.

"It about teaching the students to look after the country and learn about bush tucker," Glenn said.

With the planting of a vast range of bush tucker plants, the students not only were able to put their planting theory into practice, but they were also able to come face to face with plants they may not have ever seen before.