Where wonders never cease – Orara Reserve & The Beach School project

Orara Reserve

Orara Reserve

Bushlink is very grateful to be working in the beautiful Orara Reserve, thanks to the Sisters of Charity, the Save Manly Dam Catchment Committee and The Beach School.

Where wonders never cease.

The Beach School at Allambie is lucky enough to adjoin an area of remnant bushland at Orara Reserve (Orara means “Peaceful Place” in local Aboriginal language). Over the years, however, like many of these natural fragments, it was targeted by dumpers, whilst invasive weeds began to out-compete the fragile native plants. It was in desperate need of care and attention.

In 2012, a community environment group (The Save Manly Dam Catchment Committee) recognised the ecological and heritage values of this special area and was keen to do something practical to conserve it. They awarded a contract to Bushlink, a program run by local disability service, Northside Enterprise Inc, to help regenerate the bushland. In turn, they partnered with the adjoining Beach School (which caters for students with behavioural challenges) to complement the restoration work.

In 2015, SMDCC is now providing another grant to continue this great work and the Sisters of Charity Foundation are also injecting funds to fuel this “feel good” project.

“It’s a wonderful outcome for our natural environment, The Bushlink crew, the Beach School and the local community” said Malcolm Fisher from SMDCC. The Sisters of Charity are also delighted with the positive outcomes.

In addition to enhancing their science curriculum and learning bush regeneration techniques, students at the Beach School learn an “invaluable new skill-set” through working with the Bushlink group and “gain an understanding of relating to people with disability,” says Principal Susan Kydd.

In a world full of bad news stories..this one is positive on so many different levels.