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Getting out with community brings benefits


Getting out and about with other community members has great benefits as humanitarian entrants are discovering.

Tasmania’s national parks are international drawcards but few new arrivals to the state were venturing into the parks and reserves until the Get Outside with Community program was developed by the Parks and Wildlife Service and Wildcare Inc.

Since the Getting Outside with Community program started five years ago, new arrivals living in Hobart and Launceston have been on around 100 excursions to parks and reserves across the state.

TasTAFE and many other service providers helped identify people for the program. These people then suggested others (some of whom can be harder to reach as not involved in particular programs), to get involved.

The outings have been more than just sightseeing. The Healthy Parks, Healthy People Initiative identifies that going into wilderness areas and nature reserves is great for physical and mental health, meeting others, building confidence and developing potential and leadership skills. About 40 participants received trained in outdoor leadership so they can lead outdoor walks, deliver safety messages and help mobilise their own isolated communities to join in the excursions. 

Sam Cuff, a Community Engagement and Partnerships Officer with the Parks and Wildlife Service, is enthusiastic about getting outside with new arrivals.

“Get Outside with Community is successful because of the simple concept of being in a beautiful setting with friendly people, eating great food and sharing vibrant cultures,” Sam said.

Get Outside with Community has built leadership skills and confidence, which is integral to gaining employment.

Four people trained in leadership though the Get Outside program gained employment with the Parks and Wildlife Service as Discovery Rangers.

The Parks and Wildlife Service values bilingual or multilingual Discovery Rangers who can communicate with tourists from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Watch the Get Outside with the Community Program video.