BUSHLINKing local students and the environment

A dedicated team of green thumbs recently dug up soil at Curl Curl North Public School.

In August, local student James Bourcier, from St Paul’s College Manly, joined with Bushlink to co-project three gardening sessions with students from Curl Curl North Public School.

Bushlink, a local program for adults with disabilities have been creating and maintaining landscapes on the Northern Beaches since 2009. Aimed to offer alternative employment solutions for people with disabilities, Bushlink also focuses on engaging with the local community whilst improving our environment.

For James Bourcier, Bushlink provided a great opportunity for the team to work together with students of Curl Curl North Public School as part of his community project for Freshwater Community Bank ® Branch’s Youth Participant Program.

Since 2010, Freshwater Community Bank ® Branch of Bendigo Bank has offered local high school students the opportunity to participate in their annual Youth Participant Program.

Students, selected from local high schools, engage with the bank’s volunteer board of Directors, where they learn how a company works, attend board meetings and annual conferences and contribute to their community through their own nominated community project.

Previous participants in the program have included students selected from St Augustine’s College, Mackellar Girls High School, Stella Maris College, St Luke’s College and St Paul’s College.

As part of 2014 Youth Participant project, James worked with Bushlink to coordinate the gardening sessions with Curl Curl North Public School. Each session provided Year Two
students with an insight into how to plant, grow and nurture various types of flora whilst giving them the chance to work alongside the Bushlink team.

This interaction helps break down some of the barriers experienced by adults with disabilities and increases greater community acceptance of people with disabilities and their contribution to the community.

James says, “We all had a productive, insightful and enjoyable day which BUSHLINK and Year Two students at Curl Curl North Public School, gardening to improve the school’s green space
ultimately benefitted the school, staff, children and myself.” “It presented us with new information on gardening techniques and assisted in creating a strong bond with Bushlink’s
team members.”.

BUSHLINK Team Member Robbie with James Bourcier

Freshwater News, September 2014

Freshwater News : BUSHLINKing local students and the environment