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Mackay AFL club backs Work for the Dole scheme

The entrance to the East Mackay (Eastern Swans) Australian Football Club grounds had been in a bad state for a long time, but the club didn’t have the manpower or funds to pay for work that needed to be done. That was until November last year when they decided to commence a Work for the Dole project.

BUSY At Work, Work for the Dole Coordinator, Kristy Gostelow said the project to improve and upgrade the Eastern Swan’s field was a great success with participants gaining valuable work skills through the project.

“Last year the club received a donation of 10,000 used paving bricks from a demolition site to help repair the entrance to their grounds, but they didn’t have the manpower to complete the job.”

“We saw the potential to help the club achieve its goals, and in partnership with Max Employment commenced the Eastern Swans Trade Assistants Project last November,” Ms Gostelow said.

As the host Work for the Dole organisation, BUSY At Work secured Eastern Swans life member Bob Inkson to supervise the project and the participants.

According to Bob the participants were determined to have all the work completed by the time the AFL season got underway in April.

“It was just the five of us including myself. As all the pavers needed to be cleaned beforehand it proved to be a long and time consuming job in the middle of summer. Everything went extremely well with many of the participants volunteering extra hours to ensure they could meet the deadline.”

“We were very fortunate given that all of the participants were actual tradesman who had been laid off during the financial downturn in Mackay. The club is extremely grateful for their support in helping make the facilities better for all the players and members,” Mr Inkson said.

As well as the laying of the driveway Bob said all of the participants assisted with painting and laying tiles in the toilets, developing a new BBQ area and the cutting and painting of bollards.

Bob is already planning the next project for the club which he said would involve building a fence around the ground and planting more trees.

“This will allow us to improve the facilities to better accommodate all our players and continue the development of our sport in the Mackay region.”

Bob said he was keen for other clubs and community groups to support the Work for the Dole program.

“I am sure there are many other sporting clubs and community bodies that could use this in a positive way. At the end of the day we want the participants to be proud of what they have achieved and the community they live in,” Mr Inkson added.

BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY was pleased to be an active participant in the latest Work for the Dole initiative.

“We are delighted to support this project and keen to work with local organisations to improve employment outcomes. Participants working on these projects can not only gain valuable experience in a real work environment to help improve their employability but the outcomes can provide major benefits for the community,” Mr. Miles said.

BUSY At Work is the WfD Coordinator for the Mackay Employment Region and the Eastern Swans Trade Assistants Project is just one of a number of exciting new projects underway in the Mackay region.

The WfD program is an initiative of the Australian Government and administered by the Department of Employment.


MEDIA CONTACT: Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

0438 173 960

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