It’s just over a year since the devastating Northern Rivers floods and many communities are still struggling to get back on their feet.
The Wardell Community village project has been pioneered by Jess Wilkes, Support Coordinator with Uniting, who has partnered with the Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council to lead support for the Cabbage Tree Island temporary housing site at Wardell.
The site includes 51 temporary housing units to support approximately 200 adults and children from homelessness into temporary housing, many of this population being young and aged people. The site also includes the Cabbage Tree Island Public school and Bullinah Health service as well as a community centre.
”The most rewarding aspect of the project has been the ease in which we’ve been able to ask people and organisations for support. We were thrilled when Summerland reached out to be the first sponsor of the project providing the funding to purchase and plant fruit trees.” said Jess Wilkes, Support Coordinator for Unity.
“Fruit trees like passionfruit and banana plants were chosen as they are fast fruiting and will provide food to the families living in the village.” Jess continued.
Jess hopes the community garden will continue after the 3 years and will serve as a resource for the Wardell and Cabbage Tree Island peoples for years to come, providing an important sustainable source of food for future generations.
Summerland Credit Unions’ CEO, John Williams said “As a customer owned organisation our focus is to provide better banking to build stronger communities ensuring our profits are used as a force for good to transform the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. We’re thrilled to be on board.”
If you would like to contribute to the project by providing a donation or assisting with purchasing soil, fertiliser, garden beds, preferably raised so that there is less strain on elders.
Jess is also organising a planting day and is calling for volunteers. If you’d like to lend a hand contact Jess Wilkes on 0403 107 206.