19 people and 190 swans
19 people watching 190 swans – Lake Dulverton Oatlands
19 people gathered in Oatlands recently to look at birds, meet locals and visit animals on a farm. They were part of Wildcare’s Get Outside Program.
Wildcare Inc is a volunteer group that assists thousands of volunteers across Tasmania with projects aimed at conservation of our wild places and our natural and cultural heritage. Get Outside is one branch of Wildcare.
The Get Outside branch connects people (newly arrived to Tasmania) to places (natural places of beauty and rich in heritage). The aim of this connection is to reduce social isolation, assist with integration into the community and to provide pathways for volunteer opportunities. The Get Outside branch also teaches refugees and migrants about Tasmania’s wild places and how to find them, look after and care for them.
Recently 13 people from the Nepali community spent the day with locals in Oatlands. They visited Lake Dulverton, the Callington Mill and called into the local weavers and spinners group before being treated to a lunch and a hot cup of salty tea (a speciality of Nepal) with locals at the community centre.
After lunch the group then went to visit a local garden and farm. Patting the horses and the goats were a highlight for many. “That is the biggest horse I have ever seen, so beautiful” said one participant. “ It is so nice meeting people from this town – they were so friendly,” said another participant.
“ For newly arrived refugees, getting a sense of a local area, talking to locals about employment, gardening and ways of life is a huge help to their understanding of how to fit in to a new country. Seeing the beautiful lake and the farmland helps them connect to Tasmania in a real way, helping them feel less isolated. If you connect to people and to a place, you are more likely to care each other and for it – and that’s good for everyone” said Jodie Epper, Get Outside program coordinator. “Making connections to places and relationships with people is a key factor to building strong communities, and these outings facilitate this. “ she said.
Thanks to the community of Oatlands for hosting us and to the Get Outside leaders Krishna and Mohammad for running such an excellent day.