Elaborating on the clause
According to the Constitution, Project SafeCom promises to be "....a Safe Community in Western Australia for people of any race, gender, creed or nationality, who are displaced as a result of Wars or Political, Social, Climatological, Ecological and Geological upheaval and/or Disaster; and for other users as and when appropriate...."
This page outlines what Project SafeCom in its future implementation vision has to offer to various groups in Australian Society, or reversely, which groups of people have things to offer to Project SafeCom.
The page you have accessed here is one of the earliest vision implementation pages created on our website in 2001. For a more explanatory outline in retrospect, see the hub page or association page on our website.
our challenge In a fresh invitation and an open challenge to the Australian Government's mandatory detention of asylum seekers and refugees, the people of Project SafeCom are committed to be open to host refugees.
our alternative Our invitation goes out to the Australian Government to urgently consider alternatives to detention camps. Project SafeCom is happy to host people who come to Australia from countries like Iraq and Afghanistan; just that we will NOT allow fences, limitation of physical freedom or the taking away of human dignity and basic freedoms.
our giving At Project SafeCom people who come as asylum seekers are offered to be part of a transient community, to have a space to ground themselves with nature on the Australian soil, they can work with sheep, cattle, be part of a thriving community, learn about Australian ways of dealing with the climate, rainfall, building methods and the heat.
our learning Asylum seekers at Project SafeCom, while they await processing of their legitimate claims under the United Nations agreement of 1951, can enrol in courses conducted on-site, get a place in English language classes under the entry scheme for migrants and refugees, and they can experience the friendliness and larrikin lightheartedness of Australians, and start to heal from what in most cases can be proven to have been lifelong traumatization through the political and social persecution in their countries of origin.
Project SafeCom is committed to providing opportunities to people with a disability. This includes the provision of necessary adaptations on the Site, unrestricted access to facilities and buildings, the provision of employment and/or work experience opportunites and other opportunities as the need arises.
Some of the programs of the Disability Services Commission may, after further exploration and negotiations with the Commission, dovetail into what Project SafeCom can offer. Some of the Commission's programs as quoted on the Commission's Web Site are:
"The Community Support Program funds individuals and agencies to provide a range of supports, other than full-time accommodation, to families and people with disabilities. Funding is aimed at enabling people to remain within their family and provide respite for families from their caring responsibilities.
The Community Support Program also is responsible for agency support and development in country areas and works closely with the other programs to ensure country agencies are aware of developments occurring in all areas and have input to future considerations."
Note: In this program we're amongst other things, thinking of Respite Care farm stay or holiday camps.
"ATE programs provided by agencies assist people with disabilities who are unable to work, to make positive and constructive use of their time. The program helps people achieve their full potential and maximise their social independence.
ATE (Adults) funding aims to provide full time and part time alternative to employment options based on individual need. It will supplement, but not replace other supports, particularly, employment and will not top-up services or supports that are the responsibility of other agencies."
Note: In this program we think of opportunities for work and programs to facilitate the purposes of the Commission's program.
"The Commission's Specialist Country Services (SCS) aims to enhance the capacity of country communities to respond to the therapy and other specialist support needs of people with disabilities and their families."
We have an intent to establish a Research Centre at Project SafeCom Inc., with as its main brief the quest to explore and introduce alternative methods of animal care - We have termed this "non-violent husbandry" - and to research and resource ourselves about alternatives to the use of chemical and other fertilizers, which up till now have played havoc with the fragile country ecosystems in Western Australia.
Too many accepted practices in farm animal care leave the amount of suffering and pain amongst animals unquestioned; at the Research Centre we hope to not just question those practices but also research alternatives which can safely replace traditional methods. These may pertain to day-to-day care, to medication and to veterinary care, and to other aspects of animal life.
Contemporary farmers have learnt a great deal about what massive land clearing and the intensive use of chemicals in the soil do to the top soil and soil balance, and to the encroachment of salination. It is only through rigorous application of confirmed research outcomes that efforts to reverse the damage can be effective, appropriate in distinct regions, sustainable in the long term and of a permanent nature. Exploring these isssues is also part of the task of the Research Centre.
At Project SafeCom many opportunities will exist for appropriate training programs. Our intention is to have a fully functioning Learning Centre, which will be used to conduct classroom based training.
The training programs at Project SafeCom can be implemented in conjunction with e.g. Western Australian Regional Community Colleges (TAFE Colleges), and Agricultural Colleges.
The TAFE (Technical and Further Education) training system places a high value on 'competency-based assessment', where course participants need to put into practice what they learn in the classroom context as a pre-requisite to passing the course. Some examples and possibilities for TAFE or other Courses are:
Certificate Courses in Environmental Practice: students can learn about soil types, soil sampling / testing and the relationship between soil and plants; basics of plant and animal biology; some climate factors, and they learn what an ecosystem is.
Graduate students would ideally find employment in ecologically responsible companies or embark on further training in this field.
Courses in Environmental (Science) Management: in these courses the learning package would be expanded to include studies about the impact of people on the environment, practices of revegetation programs, some extended data gathering and processing (in preparation for further environmental studies); some chemistry, and an introduction to environmental and sustainable technology. The courses would also include modules concerned with industrial waste, environmental toxicology, waste water treatment and other related issues.
Graduate students would ideally find employment on a starting level as an environmental technician or assistant, or they would be sufficiently prepared for tertiary studies in Environmental Science or Technology.
Land Management Skills Courses: In addition to some core concepts in the above courses, issues such as Rehabilitation, Revegetation, and Ecologically responsible Land Mangement, combined with a greater accent on Hydrology and waste water management would be taught in this course. There would also be a greater accent on knowledge of regional and local of native flora and fauna.
Graduate students: This course could be conducted with leaders of Indigenous communities in Western Australia in mind, but it could also be geared to people who want to become Rangers for Local Government Authorities or Rangers in National Parks.
Rural Studies: In view of the fact that Project SafeCom's property would be a fully operational farm, there is a place for Rural Studies. In such courses we would envisage to be part of conducting Wool Classing and Wool Handling courses.
Graduate students would be trained to work as Wool Classers or Wool Handlers.
Under "other" courses that can be conducted at Project SafeCom, English Language Classes and Courses which introduce people to the workings of Australian Society, can not be forgotten.
With the current Federal Government's Mandatory detention policy on asylum seekers and refugees, there would be no opportunity to facilitate these courses. Project SafeCom Inc. however, is as much committed to assisting the Australian Government to change its mind on these matters, as it is committed to promote its own Project.
No matter where the property eventually will be located, Project SafeCom Inc. is wholly committed to ongoing consultations with The First Australians. We hope to get on well with Indigenous people who live in the region and include them in our activities.
One of the offers we are committed to make a local or regional Aboriginal community, is to assist them in any implementation of the Community Development Employment Program(s) [CDEP] in place within their community.
The West Australian State Government has just (October 2001) abolished 'short-term prison sentencing'. This step can be applauded, also because it came with the acknowledgement by the WA State Government that many, many people in prisons for a short while ended up there because of fine defaulting, and that many people came from Australia's Indigenous population.
Project SafeCom welcomes people who need to complete so-called "community hours", a light sentence set by the State Courts where people do volunteer work in the community. People who want or need to complete a set amount of hours in volunteer work, have the oppportunity to do very meaningful work at Project SafeCom, and they will be treated with dignity and respect.
I'm chatting with the Senior Counsellor at the Rehabilitation Centre in the Southern Perth Metropolitan Corridor. We're standing outside on the grounds of the agency, and I notice the improvements to the grounds.
Flower beds are splayed across the rock wall, which extends for more than fifty metres on two sides of the property.
The Counsellor explains: "Peter had in excess of 240 community hours to complete. He built the entire wall by himself. It paid off the equivalent of $ 3000.00 worth of fines, which had resulted in the confiscation of his Drivers Licence. By completing the hours with us, Peter was able to retrieve his Licence and find and keep a job.
In the last two decades, Australian Farmstay has become a well-known concept around the world. Amongst young and old travellers alike, spending a holiday on an Australian Farm is a great way of spending time in Australia, or to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Farmstay Guests at Project SafeCom will find relief from everyday life, will be invited to be part of the activities at the farm, and will be part of the learning that takes place on the property.
From The Web Site of WWOOF Australia: Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a form of cultural exchange in which WWOOFers live and work as family with host farms, and learn about the skills of organic growing and the area they are visiting. WWOOF Australia and their hosts make WWOOFing in Australia easy, safe and more fun for both Australian and Overseas Visitors to explore.
At Project SafeCom WWOOFers will be in high demand. Because of the nature of the Project, it is envisaged that we will be very much a wanted host for WWOOFers, who come to Australian Organic Farms from all over the world.
Further information by WWOOF stipulates that
"....working in exchange for keep (food and accommodation) is the basis of all WWOOFing. Time spent working varies according to the degree of self-sufficiency expected, how busy the host is at the time of your visit and other factors - but it should average out at about a half day's work for a full day's keep. We suggest that 3 to 6 hours a day is fair exchange for a days full board and accommodation...."