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On the Road to Self-Sufficiency
Christian Aboriginal Parent-Directed School (CAPS) - Wongutha: On the Road to Self-Sufficiency
A vision that Les Tucker, the Chairman of the Christian Aboriginal Parent-directed School Board, has long held is that the hostels at Coolgardie and Wongutha should be able to achieve a level of self-sufficiency through the production of food at Wongutha, a vocational school located on a farm north of Esperance. This vision is beginning to be realised through successful aquaculture and vegetable production trials at Wongutha. Both of which are part of the education programs offered by the school.
For the past two years trout have been raised in three 10,000 litre tanks. They are purchased as fingerlings in March and harvested in October/November when they are sold to local restaurants and, of course, eaten by staff and students.
One of the challenges associated with aquaculture is the management of nutrient levels in the tanks created by the waste produced by the fish. While this can be a problem which threatens the survival of the fish, at Wongutha this was seen as an opportunity. Through the application of innovative technology, developed and installed by the Wongutha staff, the school has set up a hydroponics system integrated with the aquaculture water purification system. The result is a fantastic crop of vegetables, healthy fish and more manageable water treatment and recycling processes which ensures that nothing is wasted.
So, not only is Wongutha CAPS providing quality education and training opportunities, it is putting the CAPS group of schools on the road to self-sufficiency in a way that is productive and environmentally friendly.