Eurobodalla’s Green Army supervisor Damon Lane picked up a Supervisor of the Year Award and Moruya’s Billy-Ray Davis-Wilson won Green Army Aboriginal Participant of the Year Award at Skillset’s annual awards on the weekend.
Mr Lane started with the Eurobodalla Council-hosted and Federal Government funded Green Army in 2015. He led five local teams and had the highest participation completion rate, with only one person out of 35 not completing the program.
In the Narooma area, the Green Army and Mr Lane planted trees at Little Lake, picked fireweed on local farms and participated in National Tree Day events.
He now works casually in the council’s Environment Team and said the key to his and his team's success was having empathy and understanding of people’s different backgrounds creating a work culture of mutual respect.
“I was exceptionally lucky to have such motivated and eager participants throughout my time in the Green Army,” he said.
“The majority of our participants have gone on to permanent employment, which is a fantastic result.
“It’s a shame that the Federal Government funding ended. The program achieved real outcomes for both the environment and the participants in Eurobodalla.”
Most recently Mr Lane working as a member of the council’s Environment Team assisted with working bee at Lewis Island.
Meanwhile also at the Skillset awards, fellow Green Army team member Billy-Ray was recognised for his leadership skills, strong work ethic and desire to increase his knowledge and practical skills.
Mr Lane said Billy-Ray was always eager to share knowledge of history and country, which led to a better understanding of Indigenous culture within the team.
“Billy-Ray is an outstanding role model - he was an exceptional participant, enthusiastic, willing to learn and an invaluable member of the Eurobodalla Green Army Team,” he said.
The council’s Natural Resource supervisor Heidi Thomson said that losing the Green Army program was a loss to the council’s team.
“Damon’s teams were able to tick off a lot from our environmental project wishlist,” she said.
“They undertook most of their work on council land, including erosion control projects, tree planting, weed control and environmental monitoring. They also assisted local Landcare groups. They were able to complete jobs that we wouldn’t have had funding to otherwise do.”
Skillset is a multi-faceted organisation delivering a range of education, workforce and environment programs.