Innovative Tasmanian Aboriginal enterprise pakana services, today celebrated its first year as an independent social enterprise that supports the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.
Federal Employment Minister Senator Eric Abetz joined the pakana team at the Tolosa Native Plant Nursery, Tolosa Park, to cut the cake and talk about the achievements of the eight part-time workers.
While the day is a milestone for the business, more importantly it recognises these achievements of the Aboriginal team members, their contribution to the Aboriginal community and management of Tasmania’s land.
pakana services is a social enterprise focused on supporting the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. In the past three years, the enterprise has grown from an idea shared between the Aboriginal community, NRM South and supportive partners to become an independent enterprise in 2014.
pakana services offers land management services including tree planting, fencing, weed management, brushcutting and garden maintenance to organisations such as councils, government business enterprises and properties where land management has become a particular challenge
The pakana ethos is focused on its people and the effective delivery of quality land management services. Manager John Easton oversees the team of eight part-time Aboriginal workers to undertake these activities and in doing so builds the skills, capacity and confidence in its workers which provides a strong pathway for future employment in the land management sector.
Mr Easton is delighted with the progress the team has made, and is hoping the enterprise will continue to grow.
“We’ve seen some great things happen for our team members in the last year. On a practical level our guys have developed great land management skills, and on a personal level there have been some great stories – from one fellow talking about his confidence at work, to others talking about the physical benefits of outdoor work,” Mr Easton explained.
“Our focus is on delivering high quality land management services and returning the skills and the benefits back to the Aboriginal community. The vision for pakana services is that it will continue to grow so we can put more people on and bring further social and economic benefits to this part of the Tasmanian community.”
NRM South CEO Donald Coventry says he is proud of pakana services’ achievements and equally of the role that NRM South has played to incubate this important social enterprise.
“John Easton and the team have achieved a great deal in the last year and I congratulate them on their success. They have proven their skills and expertise in the land management area and have forged some great relationships with councils and other land managers in the state.
“It has been tremendous to see the benefits of this work to the team members and their families. The Tasmanian Aboriginal community has a great deal to offer natural resource management in Tasmania and NRM South encourages other land manages to get behind John and the pakana services team, “ Mr Coventry explained.
Today’s celebration welcomed Federal Employment Minister Senator Eric Abetz and other key supporters who joined the pakana services team to undertake propagation of native plants with the Understorey Network’s Oliver Strutt. The Understorey Network and the pakana services team have been working together to propagate native plants from seed for a range of environmental and land management projects throughout Tasmania.
Projects that the Understorey Network and pakana services have worked on together include the North Bruny Revegetation and Restoration Biodiversity Fund Project. The results have been achieved with a range of other partners and include 32 hectares of replanting, over 200 hectares of weed control and fencing to protect valuable species.