Melbourne Airport and Conservation Volunteers Australia have launched a community volunteer program that will enrich the lives of adult migrants and refugees living in Melbourne’s north-west.
The Cross-Cultural Volunteer Program will run for three years and aims to encourage the region’s multicultural community to participate in environmental projects, while gaining language and social skills.
The program will run once a month, at Organ Pipes National Park, where participants will assist in environmental restoration activities ranging from plant revegetation and maintenance of new plantings to the monitoring of animal populations and water qualities.
Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said the airport is committed to finding ways to support the local community.
“Melbourne Airport operates in one of the most culturally diverse regions in the nation, so we are pleased to partner with Conservation Volunteers Australia to help local migrants and refugees build their social network, while improving language skills,” said Mr Strambi.
“While there are existing programs that focus on volunteering to assist migrants or refugees, there are very few programs that offer volunteering opportunities to help with integration and inclusion into society, which is where this program differs.
“The Cross-Cultural Volunteer Program also gives participants access to key community organisations such as Brimbank City Council, Parks Victoria and Banksia Gardens, which will help broaden networks in the area, while also supporting environmental restoration activities.”
Speaking at the program launch, Conservation Volunteers Australia CEO Phil Harrison said it is fitting to celebrate the program on Harmony Day.
“Our mission at Conservation Volunteers is to strengthen the health of the people in our communities and the ecosystems we live in. The Cross-Cultural Volunteer Program is a great example of how we can support both across a unique and diverse community,” said Mr Harrison.
Organ Pipes National Park is within 20km of Melbourne’s CBD. The park is an important area for the conservation of native flora and fauna and is world renown for a set of basalt columns that feature in the park.
To register for the Cross-Cultural Volunteer Program visit www.conservationvolunteers.com.au or contact Conservation Volunteers Melbourne on 9326 8239.