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Michael Palmer is a bubbly character and popular member of the Endeavour Foundation Industries workforce at Slade Point, celebrates his 25th anniversary there next month, and he is now also an 'award-winning sugarcane grower'.
His persistence and 'have-a-go' attitude have landed him the “Special Award" from the Sugarcane Sub-committee at the Mackay Show.
Michael, 43 next Thursday, has been a regular visitor to the Sugar Court which is hosted by Canegrowers Mackay at the Show, and has made plenty of friends among the committee members.
He asked all the right questions about growing sugarcane and was taught about planting, pests, cane fertiliser and care, and the committee even supplied Michael with a cane to plant in his own back yard.
His first crop failed but Michael persisted, kept taking advice and working hard at sugarcane growing, and thrilled everyone when he arrived at this year's Show dragging his cane behind him to enter into the sugarcane competition.
The Sugarcane Sub-committee of Mackay was delighted by Michael's fantastic effort and duly presented him with the “Special Award” for 'having a go' and for persisting even when his crop failed. Michael won a certificate and ribbon, and couldn't believe it.
“It made me so happy and proud because I grew the cane by myself and achieved my personal goal.” he said.
“I grew it from cuttings and reached my goal as part of the Liven Up program.” (Liven Up is a social skills program designed to empower Endeavour Foundation Industries supported employees)
Michael's fame spread as he appeared in the Canegrowers Mackay Newsletter, and he has been promised that his picture will appear in the big screen slideshow at next year's Mackay Show as he is now regarded as part of the inner circle, says Sonia Ball of the Canegrowers group.
“Michael likes a cuppa and a chat, and we look forward to seeing him each year,” she said.
“It was quite emotional when the show closed, and we had hugs all round so it was quite moving for us all.
“If Michael comes with his home-grown sugarcane in tow next time, the Mackay Show sugarcane committee will be ready to look after him.”
Note: Endeavour Foundation supports people with a disability in Mackay through accommodation, Learning & Lifestyle opportunities, an Endeavour Recycled Clothing store and Endeavour Foundation Industries which provides full- and part-time employment in making stakes, pegs, crates and pallets.
Endeavour Foundation is celebrating its 60th anniversary throughout 2011.
Media and Communications Officer
P (07) 3908 7109
M 0419 248106
F (07) 3253 7271