Passions of Paradise has been training two jobseekers to become dive supervisors while they participate in a project to help eradicate Crown of Thorns Starfish on the Great Barrier Reef.
The jobseekers, Michael “Mikey” Williams and Sally Browning, are part of the Cairns-based Green Army project created by the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators with funding from the State Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
The project is designed to control infestations of Crown of Thorns Starfish on the Reef as well as provide specialised skills training and work for Cairns jobseekers.
Passions of Paradise Chief Executive Officer Scotty Garden said Passions was pleased to provide work placement to two of the 20 previously long-term unemployed participants.
“This is the second year we have supported this worthwhile project and last year we were able to offer one of the participants, Jared Flint, a job as a dive master,” he said.
“The Green Army Project not only provides training to help local people find work, it helps protect the Great Barrier Reef at the same time making it a perfect fit for the Passions of Paradise business philosophy of supporting sustainable programs.”
Michael and Sally completed training competencies including first aid, open water diving and rescue diving as well as completing compulsory accredited training before undertaking the actual underwater work.
As the program progressed they clocked up hours of valuable experience and received training in advanced diving to enable them to apply for positions as dive supervisors when the project is completed.
While diving, they used specially designed “guns” to inject the Crown of Thorns Starfish with a concentrated solution of sodium bisulphate and collected and destroyed Drupella snails which also destroy coral.