Dr Melika Yassin Sheik-Eldin, AMES (AUS)
Benefits Beyond the Boundaries
Working Beyond the Boundaries is a highly successful community engagement program for the Western Melbourne District based at Werribee Park. The program targets local new and emerging communities and is providing pathways to employment helping young adults from the community to gain “job ready” and language skills while connecting with their local park. It also brings well needed volunteers to assist with everything from planting and weeding to propagation and plant production – all for the park. Accordingly, the program provides benefits to both park and people. Modelled on similar programs in New York, Toronto and Kew Gardens, UK, this program addresses isolation issues among members of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. Initially focused on women from refugee communities the project now includes younger members of the community that have left school and been unable to gain employment, mainly due to lack of English rather than lack of skills.