A program to refurbish Kuranda’s Seventh Day Adventist Church has resulted in several job offers to local jobseekers.
The project to refurbish the church started in April as part of the government’s Remote Jobs Communities Program (RJCP), with 68 people taking part, including six with disabilities.
Contractors from Cairns, Kuranda and surrounding areas were involved and on Wednesday the fresh-faced church was officially opened to the public.
Since the completion of the project last month, 35 of the participants have gained employment. Seven of the participants identify as indigenous and nine are aged between 16 and 24.
Seventh-Day Adventist president Judith Enoch said the project helped close the gap in youth unemployment.
“I completely support the training of Jobfind participants who have sought to develop this important facility,” Ms Enoch said.
“The entire community has been able to benefit directly or indirectly by the input and improvements made to the existing infrastructure.”
Qualified local job seekers supervised the activity and helped to deliver certificates in construction and horticulture, enabling the participants to construct new amenity blocks, a large patio, barbecue area, walls, stairs, and undercover walkways.
The ceiling was realigned and reinsulated, a timber feature installed at the entry, the interior pews and floorboards were sanded and stained and the grounds were landscaped with new gardens.
Jobfind Remote Jobs and Communities Program manager, Robert Howard, said reducing unemployment was an important achievement from this project
“The social benefits are long-term and will continue to contribute to the wellbeing and economic development of the entire community.”
The church plans to expand its services and host events such as health and nutrition programs, cooking classes, yoga and physical fitness, dance lessons, youth gatherings, discussion groups and public markets.
Jobfind Centre acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their connection to land, water and community.
Jobfind Centre pays their respects to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.