Collective Hearts come together for community garden to thrive

The sun was shining, and the green thumbs were keen at a recent Refugee Hub community garden working bee.

Members of Collective Heart, Refugee Hub staff and local refugee families got together to pour some love into their new community garden. The group of volunteers wasted no time getting their hands dirty, weeding and topping up the garden beds, laying sugar cane mulch, planting fruit trees, putting up trellis for climbing veggies, sanding and treating the wooden garden tables and planting vegetable seeds in seed raising punnets.

Collective Heart is a membership-based group of like-minded people who are keen to actively use their skills for the benefit of others. The group is a community of 35 local people who empower each other to love others through acts of service, kindness and generosity.

Founder of Collective Heart, Matt Linnert, said the day was a great success and the group were happy to contribute to such a valuable community resource.

“I enjoyed seeing the new premises for the Refugee Hub. It was great to see a group of people from all backgrounds come together and spend time together nurturing an environment, and in doing so, expanding their sense of community. It’s a fantastic space and a great group of people,” he said.

Mr Linnert shared Collective Heart has been collaborating with and supporting the Refugee Hub since 2019 and enjoy working with the staff and clients on projects.

“John and Mirja are genuine and helpful people who clearly care a lot about the people and families they support through the Hub. They are also supportive of collaborative partnerships to help build community and connection, which is important to us.”

Team Leader for CatholicCare's Social Justice Programs, Mirja Colding-Moran, described the working bee as a wonderful experience for local individuals and families to come together.

“This working bee was a great opportunity for some of our clients and their families to make community connections with members and develop new friendships. We really value our relationship with Collective Heart, it’s wonderful to be able to work together with likeminded community members to support families from a refugee background,” she said.

She added that now more than ever, shared experiences through community partnerships are invaluable.

“After the last couple of years, it has been hard not being able to get together socially and work face-to-face on worthwhile projects. We’ve had some wonderful experiences with Collective Heart, including cooking together at Soul Café where group members and Refugee Hub clients interacted and made meals for people in need, said “Ms Colding-Moran.  

“We are just very happy and grateful for Collective Heart’s time, effort and support. We really look forward to more joint engagements in the future.”

The vegetables and fruit that are grown in this garden will go towards CatholicCare's Food Programs, filling the Refugee Hub Grocery Hampers and making meals in our Community Kitchens.

Collective Heart generously donated garden soil, a brand-new wheelbarrow, sugar cane mulch, trellis and several other gardening items.

The working bee was also supported with other donations, such as fruit and vegetable seedlings from the children at St Columban's Primary School at Mayfield to assist the Hub to get their garden up and running! Bunnings Warehouse Kotara also generously donated citrus trees, among other plants for the garden.  

Thanks to everyone involved!

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