Great thanks to the people of the Tiwi’s as we enter our 8th year at the Tiwi College.
What started as a very small project, designed to assist the College’s sports program has morphed in to something substantial.
The launch of Matthew’s “Home Ground” program in 2011 was the inspiration for the College garden, and with $3.15 million (as of February 2017) now spent on the project we are starting to make a real difference.
It is giving the children options. Options for sustained healthy eating, fresh water, consistent mentoring and diverse career opportunities
Our involvement in the College has been one to add value to an already wonderful society and group of people.
The infrastructure we are building is not designed to be a short term addition to make us feel good about ourselves.
It is designed to permanently make a difference. A generational difference.
Examples, such as functioning dam the size of an Olympic pool, serviced by solar pumps from the local river, has had a wonderful softening effect on the area.
Solar panels use the intense Tiwi sun to reduce our reliance on expensive fuel.
The open air classroom with restaurant standard equipment is there for the children’s learning forever.
This year apprentice chefs from around Australia will engage in the 10th , 11th and 12th visits to teach the children on monthly visits about food and its diversity.
Tipper trucks, bobcats, gators strimmers, chainsaws etc belong to the College forever.
In October this year we had 32 crops in rotation for the children. Extra chickens were flown in due to increased demands on eggs at the College. We now have around 200 chickens and ducks.
All food scraps are also reused for our poultry.
We would not have achieved what we have without a few people thanked.
The Macquarie Foundation and the support of Macquarie’s staff have made this project possible.
Their funding, influence and pro bono staff visits have made this remote project something remarkable.
The help of the College principal Ian Smith and wife Anne has been tireless and visionary.
Brian Clancy, CEO of the Tiwi land Council, and his wife Jennifer who retired recently as chair Tiwi Educational Board are both inspiring and key people to the projects success.
Gibson Farmer and the entire Tiwi Land Council allow this project to grow under extreme weather conditions and an incredibly remote environment.
Our staff of Jason Ryan and master gardener Filipe Soqali and our 8 junior work scholarship staff are some of the finest people we have had the pleasure to work with.
Jessica Stassi becomes our first full time permanent employee, she will visit Macquarie Bank, AMP Bank, KPMG Darwin and Shimano as part of her working program.
Jess’s roles will include;
- Meeting all guests on arrival.
- Responsibility for their lodgings and meals.
- Liaising with sponsors such as Macquarie Bank, KPMG and Shimano (this will include multiple visits to their offices over the year).
- Supervision of our 8 work Scholarship recipients in tandem with senior casual staff mentor Dianne Moore.
The experience for us has been inspiring and very satisfying.
Our families are all involved in the project and there is nothing more inspiring than your children benefitting from working with wonderful people in a positive community.
The Tiwi’s have our thanks and love and we will remain committed to a positive future together.