St Paul's Catholic Secondary College's Reconciliation and Inclusion Group has been successful in its grant application to establish an Australian native bush tucker garden in the grounds of the College in Kempsey.
From the 41 applicants, St Paul's was the only secondary school to receive the $3,000 grant sponsored by the Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch.
The IEU has a history of funding and supporting education projects that bring sustainability projects to life.
The funds will go towards establishing native bush food through the innovative Cultural Cultivation Program.
Principal of St Paul's College, David Johns, said the College will establish a kitchen garden and learning area through native bush food cultivation and production.
"Native bush foods have been a part of the Aboriginal diet for many generations but are now gaining popularity among chefs worldwide yet at present, Aboriginal representation in the supply chain from growers to farm managers and exporters is barely two per cent," Mr Johns said.
With the ever-increasing demand for native fruits, seeds and berries this program is creating employment opportunities in an industry where students can step forward.
"Our goal is to have students involved with native food and medicinal plants at the secondary school level, empowering our community to develop and to grow businesses in both bush foods and bush medicine products as future Wild Harvesters and Small Aussie Farmers," Mr Johns said.
"This gives direct economic opportunities in our region and for Kempsey's traditional owners, connection to country and culture."
It is hoped the garden will be used by the community as well as school faculties including Construction, Science, Food Technology, LOTE, Religion (Cultural Studies), Agriculture and in-school VET Training programs.
Mr Johns said he believes this program will not only assist in connection to land, but also improve the employment prospects of students through the teaching and sharing knowledge.
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