Leschenault Catchment Council uses Futures Funding to boost Noongar employment

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Indigenous Workabout’s Kevin Fitzgerald and Leschenault Catchment Council chairman Adrian Azzari-Colley help Johnny Prefumo, Troy Ugle Snr, John Harris, Jeremy Harris, Troy Ugle Jr and Chris Howe prepare for a busy day of planting.
Camera IconIndigenous Workabout’s Kevin Fitzgerald and Leschenault Catchment Council chairman Adrian Azzari-Colley help Johnny Prefumo, Troy Ugle Snr, John Harris, Jeremy Harris, Troy Ugle Jr and Chris Howe prepare for a busy day of planting. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Five months on from being allocated funding through the Collie Futures Small Grants Program, the Leschenault Catchment Council is putting it to good use.

The council was given $75,000 to put towards the continued operation of its Danju-Jobs Together program.

Catchment Council chairman Adrian Azzari-Colley said the council had already been working with Collie-owned and operated business Indigenous Workabout prior to receiving the funding.

“When I became chairman it didn’t make sense to me we were working on Noongar country but weren’t asking Noongar people to help us repair that land,” he said.

“It all came together and it was working well, but we couldn’t expand things fast enough to give these guys full-time work.

“The money we got from the Future’s Fund means that we can dedicate two workers to really build things up.”

Council manager Chris Howe said Indigenous Workabout owner Dean Wynne had plans to move the business in the direction of specialising in land care.

The council has worked with the business for about 18 months and often used Mr Wynne’s team to help with its projects as well as connecting it to other contractors.

“He is hoping to get his team through qualifications, training and skill development in landcare,” Mr Howe said.

“Our role is to work with them, provide on-the-ground training and help secure them contracts.”

“The Collie Futures funding allows us to provide external advice and consultation to develop Dean’s business plan and the relationship between the groups.”

Applications opened last week for the second round of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program.

Up to $100,000 is available for initiatives which will create jobs and boost the South West town’s economy.

In the first round of funding announcements 11 initiatives were allocated $898,000 to put towards different projects.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said projects supported through the program were expected to deliver a return.

“The first round of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program provided a financial helping hand towards a number of initiatives which are progressing,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails