Plant tools pinched

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Fiona Tamminga, the principal of a small remote aboriginal school located in WA's Mid-West, is colleting plant donations to help build a community garden at the school.
Camera IconFiona Tamminga, the principal of a small remote aboriginal school located in WA's Mid-West, is colleting plant donations to help build a community garden at the school. Credit: Picture: Chloe Fraser

An outpouring of generosity from the Rockingham and Kwinana communities has been overshadowed by the selfish actions of an apparent tool thief.

Returning to the city for the holidays, Pia Wadgarri Remote Community School principal Fiona Tamminga put a call out for donations of plants to take back to the community, about 330km from Geraldton, to help create a self-sustaining garden at the school.

The school is an integral part of the Pia Wadjarri Aboriginal Community, providing education for about 16 students.

Mrs Tamminga said she received overwhelming support from Rockingham and Kwinana residents, who supplied enough plants to almost triple the garden’s display.

“The response was amazing and as a result we will be taking back a very full trailer packed to the brim with plants for the community,” she said.

But things took a turn for the worse when her husband Charles’ electrical tools were stolen from the couple’s trailer at Mrs Tamminga’s mother’s Calista home, the night before they were set to leave.

The tools would’ve helped build the community garden.

“Charles was taking his personal tools up to the community to help out as the school is not in a financial position to buy tools needed to maintain and build the new garden beds and green houses needed for the plants to go into,” Mrs Tamminga said.

Although “incredibly disappointed” about the theft of the tools, she thanked the people willingly donated to her “little school in the outback”.

“I’ve always wanted to do a garden program at the school to create a sustainable enterprise for the school and encourage community involvement in the school,” she said.

“The nearest shop is about 70km away and that’s only a little deli where a watermelon costs in excess of $15 and the next decent shop is 350km away so the garden is a nice way to help provide fresh food as well.”

The stolen tools are estimated to be worth $800 in total and have been reported to the police.

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