Koala carer: Richard Drumduff is helping cultivate eucalyptus trees to feed Cairns Tropical Zoo koalas
Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS
HUMPHREY the koala eats about a kilo of leaves every day but he won’t go hungry anytime soon thanks to friends at Mareeba’s Shanty Creek Therapeutic Community.
Shanty Creek Therapeutic Community is an indigenous alcohol and drug support service program which kicked off about a year ago and houses about 20 residents.
The residents are hard at work watering, weeding and pruning about 2400 eucalyptus trees for Cairns Tropical Zoo, which will eventually end up in the bellies of 23 koalas.
“Part of (the residents’) healing is a connection with the earth,” Shanty Creek Therapeutic Community program manager Dave Warby said.
Resident Alison Creek, who has been at the community for about 18 weeks, said looking after the trees and painting were great ways to relax, while fellow resident Richard Drumduff said he enjoyed learning new skills during his stay.
“It’s good experience,” he said. “I garden around the centre itself as well. I love working outdoors.”
Shanty Creek Therapeutic Community is funded by Lives Lived Well, which delivers drug and alcohol support services across the state through the Department of Health and Ageing.