Five Tiwi Island women are putting new skills to good use growing mangoes, bananas, sweet potatoes and passionfruit in their island home.

The women completed a horticulture certificate II at Charles Darwin University, with practical experience at the university’s Casuarina campus and on Bathurst Island, one of the Tiwi Islands.

Sophia Tipuamantumirri said their new knowledge and skills would benefit their community at Wurrumiyanga on Bathurst Island.

“We have already started working on a vegetable patch with basil, sweet potato and passionfruit at the women’s centre in Wurrumiyanga,” she said.

“We have learned how to grow our own food and look after the land.”

Bananas and mangoes will also be harvested.

“We planted the fruit trees and have learned how to look after them and collect the fruit,” Ms Tipuamantumirri said.

Horticulture lecturer Robyn Wing said the women learned about propagation, irrigation, pruning and how to use basic hand tools.

“They have learned new life skills, mixed and lived with other students and become more confident with their week-long placements in Darwin,” Ms Wing said.

“They have really grown with this experience and this will help their community be more sustainable in their practices.”

By Wendy Caccetta