CELEBRATION: Bush regenerator Steve Brooking, environmental support officer Georgie Jones and environmental manager Mike Delaney who has been with EnviTE since its conception.
CELEBRATION: Bush regenerator Steve Brooking, environmental support officer Georgie Jones and environmental manager Mike Delaney who has been with EnviTE since its conception. Jacklyn Wagner

People who help the region grow

FOR THE past 20 years, Northern Rivers conservation and employment organisation EnviTE has been looking after the environment and getting people jobs.

Back in 1993, bush regeneration was a foreign concept to most councils and governments.

But a revolution in conservation awareness has since transformed the Northern Rivers into a hub of bush restoration and maintenance, and EnviTE - this month celebrating its 20th anniversary - has been there every step of the way.

For environment manager Mike Delaney, who has been with EnviTE from day one, it's been a privilege to see those years of hard work bear fruit.

"Just to be able to see sites that you've worked on and how they've grown, plants that you've planted, and areas that might have been badly weed-infested and are now better," Mr Delaney said.

"It's pretty hard not to turn your head every couple of hundred metres in some areas."

While EnviTE has transformed itself into a fully-fledged professional environmental service employing more than 40 qualified staff, and running some 100 projects simultaneously, that's only half the picture.

It also doubles as an employment and training service - with a particular focus on building employment skills in young people and the Aboriginal community.

Four of 11 traineeships on offer by Baulderstone, the construction company handling the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade, were recently snapped up by local Aboriginal men through EnviTE.

Ms Nichols said EnviTE would remain "community based and not-for-profit" and continue to develop its twin pillars of employment and training and land management.

"Employment is so important to people's health and mental wellbeing and equally the environment is a cornerstone of the North Coast's identity," she said.



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