News Release

Youth Care for the Land

Recently, youth and adults from the Gosford Australia Stake (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took part in the Central Coast Council's Landcare Program.

The Central Coast Council's Landcare Program is an environmental group that invites members of the local community to take a hands-on role in conservation, protection and remediation of the area's rich environmental heritage.

The Gosford Stake youth put their "shoulder to the wheel" as they participated in revitalising the environment at Shelly Beach on the New South Wales Central Coast.

The youth not only took part in the Helping Hands project, but were also given the opportunity for Interfaith building as they learned about the Aboriginal peoples cultural values and spiritual beliefs.


Currently, the Aboriginal peoples on the Central Coast are working to have Shelly Beach formally recognised as a sacred site. In Australia, the Aboriginal peoples believe it is their sacred duty to look after the land and take what is needed. These beliefs form part of the "Dreamtime", a term used in Aboriginal culture that explains the creation of life.

Each month, Ken Ferguson (who currently serves as an Interfaith Specialist in the Gosford Stake) coordinates the Landcare service projects at Shelly Beach.  Brother Ferguson explains, "These service projects often turn out to be a great activity. There has been so much growth in the area since the Church first got involved. The council now looks forward to the 'Helping Hands' as they refer to it. It is making the Church well known in the community."

The Gosford Stake Helping Hands have been working with the Central Coast Council's Landcare Program for over twelve years. In 2017 and 2018, the Gosford Stake received a nomination for an Australia Day Environmental Award by the Central Coast City Council, in part due to Gosford Stake’s Helping Hands projects at Shelly Beach over the years.

The Helping Hands program brings together members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their neighbours to provide community service. The Helping Hands volunteers often partner with government and non-profit organisations to support and improve the communities in which they live.

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