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Warrnambool Community Garden receives national award for bush tucker garden

We're thrilled to announce our recent accolade as the recipient of the Bush Tucker Garden Award in the Community Gardens Australia 2023 awards. This national recognition celebrates the garden's commitment to growing, showcasing, and educating the community about Indigenous foods and their uses.



The announcement was made by none other than Costa Georgiadis from Gardening Australia, underscoring the significance of this achievement within the gardening and community development spheres.


At the heart of this award-winning garden lies a commitment to fostering learning and appreciation for Indigenous plants and their cultural significance.


Situated on the lands of the Peek Whurrong people of the Maar Nation, the garden overlooks a former wetland, providing a serene backdrop for exploration and education.


"Our garden is a significant area for First Nations people," says Courtney Mathew, Deputy-Convenor.


"Over the years, the garden has worked closely with local Elders and professionals to identify native plants that thrive in our climate and hold valuable nutritional properties."


The garden's bush food & native plants was first established in 2016 and serves as a living classroom, inviting visitors to learn about the uses and flavours of Indigenous plants.


Local chefs use the garden to source hard-to-find ingredients to use in restaurants. They sell rare seasonal treats like the pea sized muntries at the weekly garden market when available, introducing the food to new audiences.


"We pay our deepest respects to all First Nations people for their custodianship of this land over millennia," adds Ms Mathew. "Our collaboration with Rob Lowe Senior has been instrumental in educating our community on the deep history and significance of our site."


Recently Rob Lowe Senior has refinished the garden’s reflection seat to include a visual representation of the history of the site. This involved hours of work to plan, prepare and apply the design.




To further engage the community and expand knowledge-sharing efforts, the garden offers resources such as the "Bush Harvest - Your Guide to Indigenous Food Plants" a free downloadable guide aimed at promoting the value of bush foods for healthy diets and general well-being.


As the garden continues to evolve, it welcomes people from all backgrounds to join in its efforts of preservation, education, and community-building. No prior experience is necessary; only a passion for nature and a willingness to learn.


If you're interested in contributing to the bush food area or the Warrnambool Community Garden in general, please email grow@wcg3280.org.au. Your support helps create a vibrant and sustainable community for all.


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