Work for the Dole supporting the Ballarat Community
A tranquil setting is one way to describe the Birdsong Walk at the New Ballarat Cemetery, a space for families to visit and reflect upon loved ones. A Memorial Garden for families to place a plaque in remembrance for those lost in the Gold Rush era, at the Old Ballarat Cemetery. Are both insights into some of the rewarding outcomes achieved from the Work for the Dole program.
Work for the Dole, is a program hosted through Centacare Employment and works closely with job seekers, engaging them in activities to develop the skills and experience employers seek. The program also allows the opportunity for participants to meet potential referee contacts and be involved within the local community.
The group have continued to maintain and work on developments for both the Old Ballarat Cemetery and the New Ballarat Cemetery, as a part of the programs community involvement. Meeting four times a week, the group work on different projects around the cemeteries, the most recent being The Birdsong Walk and A Memorial Garden.
Work for the Dole have provided a peaceful space in The Birdsong Walk, set in the surroundings of gum trees, with running water streams that are embedded in a large open garden, accompanied with walking tracks throughout. A space for families to visit and reflect, taking in the landscape. The Old Ballarat Cemetery holds a wealth of history and is seen as one of Ballarat icons. Located in the cemetery is an area called “open ground”, where approximately 2500 bodies were placed to rest around the time of the Gold Rush, who unfortunately were not secured individual grave sites. Work for the Dole have thoughtfully made a memorial garden, giving families the opportunity to place a plaque in recognition of their loved ones.
The work undertaken in the program does not only provide the opportunity for individuals to gain work experience and skills, the appreciation from the local community for the immaculately maintained cemeteries, reiterates to the participants the importance of their involvement throughout Work for the Dole program.