PROGRESS PHOTOS of Koori Kids Special Garden Program at Narooma High

By Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust


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Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust

is a charitable Foundation working for: Human Rights, Social Justice, Education, Environmental Care and Support for All People. We are endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a tax exempt charity and all donations are tax exempt

ABN 27 003 317 619

We are delighted to see the progress being made at Narooma High School's Special Education program to enable Aboriginal kids to work towards establishing skills and values to successfully transition from school to the community and the workforce.


Narooma High School in collaboration with our charitable foundation, Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust, are providing this gardening and construction based skills program aimed at supporting students with mental health and behavioural challenges who are aged 15 to 17 years of age.

Todd Helton, their teacher, has created a skills and values based program which is enabling students to successfully transition from school to the community and the workforce. By using an Integrated learning approach to syllabus content it enables connections between key learning areas (maths, science, geography, history) so that students can understand the significance and application of knowledge aligned to the skills that they are acquiring. By having this project to work on with a future outdoor workshop, students are able to practice the newly learnt skills in a supported setting increasing the opportunity for success in learning.

The outdoor garden area adjacent to their classroom will provide hands-on learning of construction, landscaping, horticultural skills along with leadership, team work and sound self regulation strategies creating an aesthetically pleasing and calming environment to access at times of stress and anxiety. They'll learn team and leadership skills along with the health benefits of fresh food including bush tucker and outdoor recreation.

The 1st stage has begun and we raised the necessary funds in just 2 days.

Todd reports "Its been great watching the students build confidence and begin to work more independently. Even some of our most disengaged students have been getting involved"

The site was cleared and students began work on fencing for the gardens. Post holes were dug and posts cemented in. Then the sleepers were delivered for the raised garden beds and students seeded and raked the adjoining area for grass.

The gate is built and installed and the raised beds are being created. Soon the garden area will be enclosed.

We feel so encouraged by the wonderful support that we have received so far.

This is a work in progress and we hope to raise the necessary funds to allow the 2nd stage to follow quickly.

Your generosity can make this happen.

The 2nd stage will provide a water tank for rain water collection for the gardens and a work-shed so that tools can be stored. It will provide space for learning wood working skills such as bush furniture making, sculpture, carving, and artwork. A Yarning Circle with seating will provide a gathering place for communal times and the serenity of the gardens will create a space for when stress and anxiety calls for time out from the classroom.

LATEST UPDATE: Todd Helton, the teacher overseeing this program, rang very recently to give an update on progress. He is delighted with how the project is coming along and the positive response from the students involved.

He remarked on the new interest being shown in the morning theory classes where they learn about the maths, science and structural process etc before applying this learning in the afternoons with direct hands-on construction. This brings their learning into context and it has really captured their interest and understanding. Wouldn't it be excellent if all education was taught in this way?

We discussed the shipping container for the workshop and the recent quotes that Todd has had from several suppliers. I gave him the okay to go ahead to order this. It will have a window inserted and be delivered by a tip-tray truck. They will invoice us and any GST charged can be claimed back as we are tax exempt so this refunded GST can go back into other necessary resources for the project.

They have now completed the raised garden beds and next week they will have the garden soil delivered. Once the soil has been wheelbarrowed to site they will finish the fencing and begin planting out the gardens.

This project is having some very positive results already and should continue to provide a real benefit to all the students involved now and well into the future.

Can you help us with a donation towards this 2nd stage and tell your friends about this great project to support kids facing challenge in their lives.

Without your support these young people would have missed out on the chance to discover new skills which can lead to a much better future upon leaving school.

All donors receive updates to keep them posted.

As these kids struggle with challenge every day of their lives can you help us to turn this around and enable better choices for their future lives?

Your donation is tax deductable

All donations over $2 can be claimed as a tax deduction as we are a registered charity.

Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust was founded in 1983 as a philanthropic foundation working for human rights, social justice, the environment and to offer support, encouragement and hope for all people. We are endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a tax exempt charity - ABN 27 003 317 619

Email: [email protected]

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Team Members

Elm Grove Sanctuary Trust

Edwin Lloyd-Jones

Gray (Dipak) Ramsey

Jake Lloyd Jones

Laurel Lloyd-Jones

Laurie Wood

Sean Burke

Sheila Elizabeth Scott