PHILANTHROPISTS Marc Bright and Sharon-Ann Sharman have put together a proposal that would see the Mary River Walk turned into a training ground and a unique tourist attraction.
PHILANTHROPISTS Marc Bright and Sharon-Ann Sharman have put together a proposal that would see the Mary River Walk turned into a training ground and a unique tourist attraction. Craig Warhurst

Doing their bit for the Mary

TO make a difference, all it takes is a good idea and a lot of action to get it sprouting.

After reading an article in The Gympie Times (Call made to clean up overgrown river walk, published Friday, February 5), Marc Bright and Sharon-Ann Sharman were inspired to put their heads together and apply to Gympie Regional Council for permission to use the river walk area as an “outdoor classroom”.

For the past 20 years, Marc has been heavily involved in educating school children in sustainable living by installing bush food gardens under the direction of Gubbi Gubbi elder Eugene Bargo.

He said the Mary River was a perfect vehicle to take the project to the next level by developing the area into a resource-rich training ground.

With the help of Sharon, a technical writer, Marc has put together a proposal for community groups and Council to consider.

Sharon-Ann says when (and not if) the project gets the go-ahead it has the potential to create training and employment opportunities, provide a unique tourist attraction, a place for local families to utilise and an ongoing facility for training people in eco-edu-tainment.

Sharon-Ann runs her business Bushskills for Country and is looking to incorporate it into a training package for conservation and land management.

“Marc and Eugene have been doing these types of things for a long time with their organisations Land Skills and Diddillibah Tours,” she said.

“At this stage, even though we’re ready to be up and running, we are looking for community projects that we can run as a showcase to give people an idea of what we are trying to achieve. One of reasons we are so keen on using the Mary River Walk is for the future of the whole region.”

Marc says the area is perfect for the development of a Riverside Art Trail as well as provides the opportunity for an indigenous botanical garden with interpretive signage.

This would involve the help of Indigenous land skills training teams, landscaping services, men’s groups, and youth groups including schools.

Mark and Sharon-Ann say that in the long term, the project would need endorsement by a registered training organisation, in order for participants to be eligible to receive their Certificate in Land Management.

Gympie Times


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