The Governor General Opens Toormina Community Garden

Their Excellencies the Governor General David Hurley and Mrs Linda Hurley with Donne Lee from Fresco and Phil Pettit from the Royal Botanical Garden Sydney.

 

RESIDENTS in Toormina were delighted to have the Governor General attend the opening of their community garden by Mission Australia Housing (MAH).

Their Excellencies the Governor General David Hurley and Mrs Linda Hurley officially opened the latest community garden on Saturday 27 February, hailed by MAH as their greatest yet.

A spokesperson from MAH said, “Despite the torrential downpour, the well attended event provided three generations of our tenants with the opportunity to tell their stories firsthand to their Excellencies and share their gardening and community aspirations while making new friends.

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“The tree planting ceremony had to be moved under cover and staged for future planting as the rain was so strong that hole we dug to plant the lemon tree completely filled with water.”

Jesse Taylor, Community Development Officer, Mid North Coast MAH, said the project has been greatly supported.

The community gardens consist of three raised wicking garden beds and was made possible through the Department of Community Justice funded Community Greening Program of the Royal Botanical Gardens of Sydney.

The project would not have been possible without the support of awesome volunteers including the President of the Coffs Harbour Community Garden, Sarah Waleson from SCU’s Psychology Department, Richie Elliott from GeoLink, the Warrina Women’s Refuge, the First People’s Disability Network, the local Police, the Local Health District’s Health Promotion Team, the Coffs Harbour Music Society and Fresco Marketplace in Coffs Central who donated materials to build the garden beds and catered for the working bee and the official community gardening opening.

Mr Taylor told News Of The Area, “We are creating community development opportunities through community gardening through the Local Government Areaand wherever MAH is delivering housing management and support.

“We are trying to improve the lives of our tenants and the community they live in.

“It is a win for everyone involved,” he said.

“For a lot of tenants, community supported gardens reduce social isolation, build networks to support communities and develop a local sense of identity.

“It provides opportunities to supplement groceries, connect with residents and gives people something to look forward to.”

Mr Taylor said one of the tangible outcomes was a resident who had not known anyone in his street for twenty three years until last month when the gardens kicked off.

Both of Their Excellencies the Governor Generals are patrons of MAH and were on board for the launch and are supportive of the aims to build resilience in communities and connect with your neighbours while creating green spaces.

 

By Sandra MOON

 

Neighbours and gardeners came together with officials for the opening.

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