Volunteering pilot program at Katoomba High School

Greening: Minister responsible for volunteering, Ray Williams, with students of Katoomba High School.

Greening: Minister responsible for volunteering, Ray Williams, with students of Katoomba High School.

Twenty-five Aboriginal students from Katoomba High School will take part in a training pilot to give them the skills to help protect the local environment.

Minister Ray Williams warms his hand with students at the fire pit at Birriban, the Aboriginal cultural site on the school grounds.

Minister Ray Williams warms his hand with students at the fire pit at Birriban, the Aboriginal cultural site on the school grounds.

They will study for a certificate 1 in active volunteering – environment and conservation qualification.

The state minister responsible for volunteering, Ray Williams, visited the school earlier this month and was shown around Birriban, the once-overgrown plot of land adjoining the school which is now used as the schools’s own Aboriginal space, where students learn how to care for country, about Indigenous practices and how to walk gently on the earth.

Mr Williams, who was shown around Birriban by some of the students, said the government decided to launch the environmental training pilot at Katoomba High to recognise the good work already being done there.

“I applaud Katoomba High School and Blue Mountains City Council for being so proactive in protecting the rich heritage of the area,” he said.

The NSW Government will provide $25,000 in funding to support the pilot. It is part of the NSW volunteering strategy 2016-2020, which aims to boost volunteering opportunities for people of all ages.

Mr Williams earlier addressed some of the students in the school hall, telling them that he came from a volunteering family.

“It was giving back,” he said. “It’s helping people, helping families and the whole community.

“Volunteering is a terrific way to get involved in your community and to get experience,” he said.

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