Home' The Southern Cross : June 2015 Contents June 2015 Page 9
A garden funded by Red Cross on Catholic
Church land in Kilburn is connecting
asylum seekers, parishioners, school
students and neighbours to grow
much more than just seasonal fruit and
The “Putting Down Roots” project
is a community garden space being
coordinated by Red Cross behind the
Mercy House of Welcome which has been
set up by Mercy Works to support asylum
seekers in the annexe to the Kilburn parish
“Many of our clients have agricultural
backgrounds and they miss growing their
own food and working outside, so this
garden gives them a chance to use their
skills and feel part of the community,” said
Mercy House of Welcome coordinator
“It also gives the wider community a
chance to meet asylum seekers and break
down negative stereotypes,” she said.
Red Cross has joined the Clearview-
Kilburn Parish, Mercy Works (the
development agency of the Sisters
of Mercy in Australia and Papua New
Guinea) and St Brigid’s School to plan and
develop a communal space with cooking
facilities, shaded seating, fruit trees and
irrigated garden beds to grow herbs and
Last month the garden design was
finalised, a gazebo and BBQ were installed
and seedlings were propagated for future
Clearview-Kilburn parish priest Father Leon
Czechowicz said the garden was a vehicle
by which asylum seekers could come to
know they were welcome and cared for by
the local community.
“It is a place of welcome for people who
might not belong to the Church but who
can come to feel kinship and feel part of
the community,” he said.
“I think it’s a really exciting venture,” said
Trish O’Toole, principal of St Brigid’s
“Our students and their families will see
community coming together as one
and they will learn different cultures and
languages. It is a win-win for everyone.”
Lisa Clark, Red Cross Food Security team
leader, said the Putting Down Roots project
evolved from a migration support program
garden successfully piloted at St Brigid’s
School last year.
The school, located across the road from
the Mercy House of Welcome, has a large
number of asylum seeker families.
She said the project was expanded to
include the broader Kilburn community and
those wanting to learn about growing their
own food and connecting with different
cultures at the same time.
“It really is a place where everyone can
come to grow,” said Ms Clark.
The project is being funded by Red Cross
and Toro Australia.
Ms Clark said many local businesses, like
Bunnings and the Blair Athol Prospect
Lions Club, have supported the project
by supplying seedlings and a barbecue.
She said once the garden is established,
various local community groups and
volunteer horticulturists would be invited to
provide gardening, cooking and wellbeing
workshops to the broader community.
A community garden reference group
of local residents and leaders of various
community groups has been formed.
If you wish to volunteer or learn more
about Putting Down Roots, email
BUDDING FRIENDSHIPS: Kilburn parishioners, staff and volunteers from Red Cross, Mercy House of Welcome, Anglicare and Smith Family, St Brigid’s School families,
asylum seekers, migrant families, Lions Club volunteers, locals and Inner Northern Food Alliance Network members joined together last month to start building a garden
space together in Kilburn.
Community sprouts from garden
By Rebecca DiGirolamo
Mercedes College is a co-educational, Reception to Year 12 Catholic school in the
Mercy tradition, providinga caring and supportive learning environment.
Mercedes College is committed to the education of the whole person.
We nurture and inspire each student to discover their potential, plan
for their future and embrace the many opportunities life presents.
Join us on an Orientation Walk and discover how our environment can help
realise your child’s potential. To register your interest please telephone or visit
liMiTEd plaCEs availablE fOR 2016
540 fullarton Road, springfield sa Telephone 08 8372 3200 www.mercedes.catholic.edu.au
Links Archive May 2015 July 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page