The work that A Taste of Paradise Organic Farm can achieve within our community relies heavily upon working with other organisations who have similar goals to see our young people find their feet and begin their journey towards greater self-determination. It’s the act of partnering with these other groups that makes the whole process sustainable. It enables us to share our resources and our expertise and this means that the whole we achieve is greater than the individual parts.
The South Coast Aboriginal Medical Service is one such partner and together we run an Assisted Animal Therapy Program with primary school children who are struggling with a pretty tough start in life. Clinical Psychologist Alison Lucas, elders and carers work with our team to help these young people to develop empathy with other living creatures and to develop some understanding of the essential conservation and aboriginal heritage work that we do on the farm. Seeing a baby animal newly born can bring a new sense of hope and joy into the lives of young people particularly when they see how fragile and vulnerable they are and how important it is that they are cared for in a loving way. Providing love and care for baby animals can sometimes break a cycle of despair in a young person who hasn’t received very much in their own lives.
The two photographs that accompany this blog, in addition to the baby chick, are of the Medical Service executive team alongside Tim, and of a unique piece of artwork created by the young people working with their elders, which sits pride of place on our wall in our Training Room.