Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 6.9 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, September 6 2011 - 11
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Course to help
SINGLE fathers who want to improve
their parenting skills can participate in
a four week course that starts later this
Nuskills Learning and Development
director Daniel Bowman said the
course was established after a need for
it was identified in the community.
“In talking to people and clients [we
discovered] that there are a lot of single
fathers out there who are struggling
with their parenting skills,” he said.
Mr Bowman said single fathers
wanted a greater understanding about
what they’re doing and receive sup-
Run in collaboration with Mary-
mead and supported by the ACT
Government Education Directorate,
the course aims to cover four different
concepts throughout its duration,
including looking after yourself, the
twists and turns life can take, com-
munication and looking to the future.
Presenters Rik Allen and Richard
Murray will run the sessions and both
have various qualifications and know-
ledge in the area.
Mr Bowman hopes the participants
will be able to learn valuable skills,
while also forming friendships.
“These are topics that can be
confronting for people,” he said.
“It’s going to be quite inspiring for
people because it is fun.
“One of the biggest hurdles to
overcome is to recognise there are
other people out there in the same
situation and also there are people out
there who can give you advice.”
■ For further information call
6100 6674 or email
Award blooms from garden
Maria Essex of Duffy won last year’s Housing ACT gardening
Picture: Elesa Lee
ACT Housing calls for entries
FROM bad frosts to bushfires, Maria
Essex lets nothing come between her
and a beautiful garden.
The Duffy resident was rewarded
for her fine gardening abilities last
year when she was named the overall
winner of Housing ACT’s annual
spring gardening competition.
When Ms Essex moved into her
home almost 30 years ago, she said
there was little to work with garden-
“There was nothing around the
house, just two pine trees,” she said.
From plant cuttings and birthday
gifts she slowly began to build a
garden, forming it into the master-
piece it is today.
The large garden has become a
mish-mash of fruit trees and vegetab-
les planted alongside colourful roses
“That’s how I wanted it. I don’t
buy any veggies, I just grow my
own,” Ms Essex said.
“This year I don’t have as many
because we had a few bad frosts, but
Frosts were the least of her
problems in 2003, when the devastat-
ing Canberra bushfires came close to
destroying her home.
Fortunately, unlike others in her
street, Ms Essex’s home survived the
blaze – but her garden came off a
little worse for wear.
“The house across the road was
burnt and [the fire] burnt all my roses
but they came back again,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s different now but it’s still
nice.’’ Ms Essex inherited a love of
gardening from her Italian father,
who she would follow closely as he
pottered around their property in
In turn, she has passed the fasci-
nation on to her daughter, who is
entering Housing ACT’s spring
gardening competition this year fol-
lowing encouragement from her
“I said put your name down – she’s
worried her roses won’t be ready yet
but she’s going to enter anyway,” Ms
All Housing ACT tenants are
encouraged to show off their gardens
through the competition, which is
divided into seven categories includ-
ing large garden, small garden, court-
yard garden, environmentally-
friendly garden, speciality garden,
vegetable garden and rose garden.
First prize in each category will
receive a $100 gift voucher, second
prize a $70 gift voucher and third
prize a $50 gift voucher. The overall
winner will also be awarded a $200
This year’s competition will be
judged by Keith Brew from the
Canberra Horticultural Society.
Entries are open until September
30 with judging to commence on
October 24. Entry forms can be
collected from Housing ACT Gate-
way Services, by calling 6207 1376
or are available at www.dhcs.
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