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Fifteen years of Yarrilinks

8 September 20140 comments
Yarrilinks group pipx400

AMES students and the local Rupanyup community.

The 15th annual Yarrilinks Planting Weekend was again a roaring success with thirty-seven AMES students taking part.

It was the eleventh time AMES has been involved and the first day of the weekend did not auger well. Hailstones peppered the bus as it departed AMES Werribee and sleet lashed the windscreen as it drove past Ballarat.

Remarkably, the weather was fine on Saturday and Sunday which made the whole experience even more enjoyable and relaxing for all involved.

The students were warmly welcomed by their hosts and by the local community of Rupanyup. They learned about planting seedlings and how Australians live and work on large farms and in small Victorian towns.

Karen refugees from Thailand, who have been busy maintaining the AMES plot at Werribee Community Garden on a weekly basis, were especially chosen to attend the weekend.

The Karen hope their English skills will have improved by next year so they can speak more easily to their hosts.

The Yarrilinks project came ‘just in the nick of time’ for the Buloke timbers which were down to 2 per cent in the Wimmera before it began 15 years ago.

Spanning the region of Yarriambiack Shire, planting has occurred in Rupanyup, Warracknabeal, Murtoa and Minyip.

The story of the planting has been told in a new publication ‘Yarrilinks Project – 15 Years of Growth’.

The chronicle features yearly highlights on every open page and AMES has a mention on these beautifully designed pages, describing our refugee and migrant clients as “…crucial to the story of Yarrilinks, which quickly grew from a revegetation exercise assisting farming and restoring the environment, to a richly rewarding social experience”. 

Yarrilinks has not only been a rewarding experience for the hundreds of students who have attended the planting weekends but also to those Werribee Karen refugees who have moved to work for Luv A Duck in Nhill.  

Rae Talbot, who raises the money for the successful planting weekends, also prompted the owner of Luv A Duck to recruit staff from AMES at Werribee.  Hence, it could be said, that this economically beneficial venture has sprung from the friendships nurtured during the Yarrilinks Project.  

For more information about this story, contact Santina Rizzo on: 8744 0011.