Projects Team lends a hand to help restore Puffing Billy habitat

December 15 / 172

As a team building project, Chancellery Projects recently volunteered to help an environmental cleanup at Puffing Billy
As a team building project, Chancellery Projects recently volunteered to help an environmental cleanup at Puffing Billy

The Chancellery Projects team recently rolled up their sleeves to volunteer with the Puffing Billy Environmental Restoration Project.

The thirteen member team ventured out to Belgrave to get involved with the community based program that helps restore National Park terrain along the railway track corridor allowing native plants to regenerate and re-establish the habitat for local wildlife.

Acting Director, Vanessa Campbell explained how the idea evolved from a team-building program.

"We were keen to explore activities that supported the efforts of working as a team while undertaking a challenge outside our normal routine," she said.

The work is mainly hands-on requiring removal of damaging environmental weeds including wandering trad, holly, ivy and sycamore maple saplings - a tall fast-growing tree that takes over other plant species.

Yolanda Wosny, Project Officer with the Chancellery team, coordinated the day's activity, which was one of a range of options considered.  

"Although we chose an environmental program this time, we have a number of worthwhile volunteer programs we are interested in pursuing in 2016", she said.

From a team building aspect, the activity was a great way to unite the group and help foster collaboration and communication amongst members working toward achieving shared outcomes.

Helen Varnavas, Communications and External Relations Manager in the Chancellery Projects team highlighted the benefits of contributing to voluntary programs that also align with the new Engagement at Melbourne Strategy. 

"Opportunities to give back to the community are both satisfying for the individual and help make a significant impact," she said

Puffing Billy is a century old heritage steam train and one of Australia's most popular tourist attractions that runs the original 25km mountain track through Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges.  

The Chancellery Projects team participated in The Puffing Billy Environmental Restoration Project as part of the University's Staff Volunteering and Community Service Policy.

Story by Helen Varnavas

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