Communicare - Work for the Dole
The Work for the Dole program commenced at Hilton Harvest in mid June 2016, and involves job seekers contributing to the construction and maintenance of the garden on a regular basis, as part of their obligation under their Jobactive program.
The Work for the Dole program runs on Mondays and Thursdays, 8:30am to 4:30pm. Job seekers are required to work either 2 or 3 days per week. On average, the program at Hilton Harvest has ~4 participants per day. The program is supervised by Dave Bebbington and Nate Anderson, both HHCG committee members. A typical week sees over 120 man hours of labour provided to the garden. The program runs for 6 months, however it is hoped funding for a further 6 months will be secured. The program is managed/funded by Communicare, with current funding of $25,000 over 6 months.
The program has proved to be very successful and very valuable for the garden, and has achieved an enormous amount in just a few months. The majority of participants have shown enormous commitment and enthusiasm for the program, despite the commonly arduous and hard construction tasks and limited incentives. All participants have improved their construction and gardening skills, in many cases considerably, whilst many others have expanded and re-kindled existing skills. The attendance rates and punctuality of the participants have to be seen to be believed.
The Work for the Dole program has arrived at a crucial time for the garden. The garden has steadily expanded the number and scale of social programs delivered every week, and the physical infrastructure of the garden has not kept pace. The Work For the Dole program has provided urgently required manpower to improve facilities within the garden for regular weekly garden users. The program is also rapidly building many of the core elements of the recently developed "Vision" plan. Projects completed to date include:
- creation of kitchen/tearoom
- provision of handwashing and dishwashing facilities
- fencing of orchard enclosure/expanded chook run
- fencing of asparagus bed
- improved maintenance of garden ground
- building new composting facility
- building new materials storage bays
- creating new garden beds, including fencing
- creating kitchen garden, including wicking beds, shadesails, paving