The overall program base of Billabong Aboriginal Development Corporation was managed efficiently, effectively and professionally by Community volunteers and the Corporation strives for a high degree of fiduciary and governance accountability. In recent years, this volunteer base has been complemented by Indigenous and non-Indigenous employees.
Billabong regards as extremely important the achievement of real outcomes for Aboriginal community members – including safe affordable housing, quality health and social support services, appropriate training, long-term employment, secure income and access to land. These are vital to phasing out social welfare programs and introducing economic independence to community members. These real outcomes, together with viable financial arrangements and sustaining business and employment initiatives, are essential ingredients in helping to break the welfare dependency cycle of our community members trapped in this environment. We see continuing partnerships with a number of organisations – Government, Private and Community sector, Indigenous and non-Indigenous – as a key strategy in achieving this aim.
Stockdill Drive Community Farm
The Stockdill Drive Community Farm is located in a rural setting close to the suburb of Holt in West Belconnen. Billabong now holds the property on a 3 year renewable licence from the ACT Planning and Land Authority and the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services. The original property comprised a small ranger’s house and a 2.6 hectare curtilage; however in 2003 Billabong commenced a major transformation of the property to a vibrant community facility, which draws heavily on its attractive rural ambience.
In December 2003, a Billabong Greencorps project completed the establishment of a regeneration program “Bushtucker, a cultural heritage trail and fire recovery in the ACT”. As part of this project, the western section of the property was regenerated through plantings of bush tucker ; native shrubs, Pathways are currently being constructed to a future talking fireplace area and will be complemented with the completion of a paved open access community BBQ. The pathway will then link up with the native seed bank, propagation nursery and community gardens. Along with these rural-focussed activities and facilities, the Farm also hosts a number of other programs including key indigenous Art and craft workshops, small engine maintenance workshop (YMECH) Community boardroom, I/T Classroom and office administration accommodation. The Farm is already attracting capacity numbers of youth participants referred by a variety of service providers including the Indigenous Year 9 & 10 students at risk, Youth Services, Juvenile Justice, CDEP and other Indigenous community groups.
The development of Stockdill drive is a unique development which has been undertaken by Billabong Aboriginal Development Corporation utilising community members skills and experience in construction, landscaping and mechanical based projects and transferring those skills across to youth at risk.
With the opening of the Activity Centre Facility in mid-2007, a greatly increased and more diverse group of Community participants ranging across young parents, seniors, artists, meeting participants and children have utilised this facility. We have and continue to hold a number of open community BBQs, incorporating other service providers facilitating a one stop access point to a wide range of services. A regular feature of Community life on the Farm is the monthly Wednesday Lunch (at 12 noon) where all are invited to come together for lunch to talk business, create linkages, and enjoy Community interaction.
This property will continue to grow and will become a prime focus for not only the Indigenous community but also the wider community as resources and activities become more readily available.
Going Forward Billabong is focusing on the development of training and employment outcomes packages for youth 18 – 25 yo that is based on the delivery by Billabong will through a close partnership with a registered and approved Registered Training Organisation (RTO).
- Conservation and Land Management Certificate II (established native provenance seed nursery 60,000 tubes mixed natives).
- Transport and Logistics 10 Certificate II (plant and machinery available for training)
- Information Technology Certificate II IT
- Certificate IV and Diploma in business administration
Billabong is currently focused on consolidating its community facility base at Stockdill Drive Holt ACT
The facilities that you see above have been constructed over three years (July 2004 /June 2007) by a range of volunteers & participants. We have had community members who have qualification in Carpentry, Boilermaker Welders, Architects IT Professionals Plumbers and Electricians put in time and energy to develop Stockdill. As well as Government support, Billabong has enjoyed ongoing ACT Private Business sector support and gratefully acknowledges and thanks all those that contribute to this project.