Nothing Nuts about Project; the Humble Macadamia Is Helping Disadvantaged Youth Improve Their Work Skills

Article excerpt

THE humble Queensland nut, our own macadamia, has given rise to an amazing story of hope for a few disadvantaged and disengaged young people in Bundaberg.

The Burnett Youth Learning Centre is managed by a modern-day Robin Hood named Barry Reynolds, a local school chaplain in Bundaberg who has come to the aid of these young people.

Supported by the Federal Government and the Australia Macadamia Society (AMS), this project is an encouraging story in our current hard times.

Four years ago Barry conceived the idea of taking young people onto the land and taking over the TAFE farm, now known as Elliott Farm.

The group is a non-government organisation that works with disengaged youth from the Bundaberg region to help them to get back their purpose in life and become job ready. The farm has an 800-tree macadamia orchard and the local AMS steering committee saw an opportunity to work with Elliott Farm.

It offered to assist in getting the crop of macadamia trees back into full commercial potential, and to use the trees as a training facility.

Steering committee member and Hinkler Park general manager Adrian van Boven has offered the services of his staff and company equipment to achieve this aim. …