Local lawyers had a fun and meaningful team day out in aid of charity when The Compass Institute welcomed the Garland Waddington team to their 20 acre organic farm in Palmwoods recently.
Team members were taken on a tour by the farm’s Development Coordinator, DJ McGlynn, who shared the story of how the farm started five years ago, and the important role it plays in the community today by providing support for people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities.
The Compass Farm provides work experience and supported employment opportunities for a wide number of social enterprises including market gardens, animal husbandry, bee keeping, site services, fruit orchards and more.
Partner at Garland Waddington, Brendan Bathersby, said it was a unique and meaningful team building experience to see the Compass Farm first hand and learn about the many and varied social enterprises it has created for those in need.
“I’ve known about The Compass Institute and the good work they are doing in the community for a few years now, but it was a humbling experience to see and experience the farm with our own eyes and hands and learn about the budding and successful social enterprises they have established,” Mr Bathersby said.
“We learned that almost every trainee who attends Compass plays some role in the social enterprises – directly or indirectly.
“This is so evident when you meet them and see the pride they take in their work and the confidence they gain that then flows over to their lives.”
After a tour of the farm, the Garland Waddington team visited Compass’s retail outlet where they sell a wide range of items made by Compass trainees, Wabi Sabi, in Palmwoods for some retail therapy, followed by lunch at the Compass Connections Café in Nambour. This café is a collaboration with Cricks Nambour and provides flexible employment and skills training.
Compass Development Coordinator, DJ McGlynn, said most people identify very closely with their work and take great satisfaction from performing their role to the best of their ability.
“Access to stable long term employment in the mainstream in Australia for people with disabilities is quite limited,” Mr McGlynn said.
“At Compass, we recognise that everyone benefits when they can identify with some type of work and the more varied and meaningful that work is, the more value it lends to their lives.
“The more the work provides an interface with the broader community, the more acceptance they gain and the more the community is educated to the capacity of people with a disability to fill a valued role in their society.”
The Compass Institute is just one of a number of community organisations that GW supports across the Sunshine Coast. More information about The Compass Institute, visit http://www.compassinc.org.au/index.php/enterprises/compass-farm/ or for more information about Garland Waddington, visit www.garlandwaddington.com.au