TAFE NSW students have donated 500 plants to help regrow fire-affected South Coast communities after last season’s devastating bushfires. The TAFE NSW Padstow horticulture students propagated and maintained the native plants during their studies and donated to not-for-profit organisation Convoy of Hope’s Regrow project. The 2019-2020 NSW bushfires were unprecedented in their extent and intensity, burning almost 5.3 million hectares or 6.7 per cent of the state. Sutherland Shire local, Colvin Cashman, is studying the Certificate III in Horticulture and said it was rewarding to know his class was helping to revegetate so many communities in the Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley regions. “It’s a great feeling knowing the practical skills we’re learning at TAFE NSW are having an impact on not only the environment but the people who have faced such devastation over the past year,” Colvin said. “I’ve always had an interest in bush regeneration and it’s wonderful that I can be a part of something serving such a great purpose.” Colvin is half-way through his course and said he enjoyed learning about how to propagate different types of plants and watching seedlings and cutting grow by implementing different industry practices.”
Convoy of Hope Oceana Regional Leader, Joel A'Bell, (pictured above with TAFE NSW Head Teachers David Lovell and Tony Momi and Lauren Marie Holliday from Convoy of Hope) said the donation would go on to help communities rehabilitate the land affected by the fires. “We’re so grateful that TAFE NSW has donated to the Regrow project, which is bringing communities together to restore the environmental habitat and ecosystem on the South Coast. “With much of the bushfire affected residents time, energy and resources currently focused on re-establishing their homes and livelihoods, it’s great to receive so many donations to facilitate the nurturing, planting and regeneration of bushfire affected community greenspaces and residential gardens. TAFE NSW Head Teacher in Horticulture, David Lovell, said the donation was a chance for the students to apply the hands-on skills they learn in the classroom to the real world-environment. “The students have nurtured the plants as part of their studies by planning and installing irrigation systems, controlling pests and disease and maintaining the soil quality,” Mr Lovell said. “The plants the students have now donated have been looked after and will go on to benefit a number of communities. Usually, we sell them locally but it seems fitting that they are passed on to areas in NSW that need these plants.”
Above: Residents of the South Coast gratefully accept TAFE NSW donation of 500 plants. If you are interested in studying horticulture at TAFE NSW, please visit www.tafensw.edu.au, or call 131 601.