Building on the success of the Adult Services Farm Intensive, which has been running for over two years at the ‘El Grando’ horse farm in Lurg, IOE Adult Services has introduced a new advanced Rural Intensive based at Myrtleford,  As with the Lurg intensive, the new rural intensive will operate one full week per month from Monday to Friday, with participants taking part in other Adult Services/independent programs for the other three weeks.

A number of former Farm Intensive group members have now moved on to the more advanced Rural Intensive program and are developing new connections in the small rural and primarily agricultural community of Myrtleford. The group members will be working at building on their existing skills learned during their time at Lurg and at developing new skills in other areas of farming.

As well as the actual physical work skills, group members learn many skills for independent living, taking responsibility for shopping, meal planning and preparation, cleaning and household chores, personal care and hygeine. An important part of the program is the continued improvement of the group’s communication skills and the development of social connections with the local community  The idea is for the Myrtleford group members – Adele, Kent, Rob, Lee and Morgan  –  to develop these local community connections, with support from staff member Matt, and also to independently drive the actual program as much as possible.

The group’s first stay was in February (6-10), and began with developing new connections within the town and also working with a local farm to harvest their garlic as well as tend to the farm’s blueberry seedlings.  Unlike the previous intensive, where the group stayed and worked solely at ‘El Grando’, this intensive aims is to find work with as many diverse farms in the area as possible.

Currently the group’s accommodation is a cabin in the local caravan park. However, they would like to establish a more permanent base and would love to hear from anyone who could offer an affordable place with basic facilities, ideally within 30kms of Myrtleford (even as far as Bright or Milawa). Please contact Matt Howard 9753 5369  or email if you can assist with this request.

Sandra Leehy