You are here

Home > About > News and media releases > Multicultural connection to nature celebrated during Parks Week

News

Kitchen Garden at Werribee Park

Kitchen Garden at Werribee Park

Photo by: Parks Victoria

Multicultural connection to nature celebrated during Parks Week

Thursday 27 February, 2014

Connecting Victoria’s multicultural community to parks and nature will be a focus of celebrations during Parks Week from 3-9 March 2014.

Parks Week is an annual celebration of the important role that parks play in contributing healthy communities.

Parks Victoria’s Chief Executive, Dr Bill Jackson, said some exciting and innovative programs are helping multicultural communities to enjoy Victoria’s parks and reap the healthy benefits of connecting with nature.

“One project that’s been met with great success is the Community Kitchen Garden at Werribee Park that began in 2012,” he said.

 The program was developed for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities in Melbourne’s western suburbs and is now a thriving community garden program with a horticultural educational facility.

“When the project began, it aimed to address some of the mental health issues associated with the effects of post traumatic disorders, including depression and isolation for women from refugee communities. Now the project has grown to include younger members of the community; people in their early twenties, the women’s kids, grandkids, nephews and nieces,” said Dr Jackson.

“Communities such as the Karen people from Burma have really taken to this opportunity as they absolutely love gardening,” he said.

Further opportunities are also being offered to younger members of the CALD communities through traineeships in the parks.

Trainees work alongside park rangers for three days a week while they are undertaking their certificate courses in Horticulture and Conservation and Land management

The educational program has been developed with support from agencies including Parks Victoria, Australian Multicultural Education Services (AMES), the Brotherhood of St Lawrence and Matchworks.

“These types of programs are highly valuable for people’s social, educational, physical and mental wellbeing and align well with Parks Victoria’s Healthy Parks Healthy People approach,” said Dr Jackson.

“A growing body of research world-wide suggests that getting into parks and connecting with nature is good for people’s mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.”

 “At a time when people are spending more time indoors with computers and other screens, and many are facing health issues through lack of exercise, it’s even more important to make the most of all the healthy benefits that our parks and nature provide.

“In Australia, preventable diseases like diabetes are becoming more common— with its prevalence at least doubling in the past two decades.”

Other initiatives developed to give multicultural communities better access to Victoria’s parks include:

  • A Discover Parks Program that supports community organisations to run innovative and interesting activities that introduce culturally and linguistically diverse communities to parks.

  • Parks Victoria has supported Alzheimer’s Australia in providing health and wellbeing program's in parks for isolated carers from CALD backgrounds. Eight CALD communities from Melbourne and Geelong participated in the program in parks in and near Melbourne last year.

Parks Week is an annual celebration of the important role that parks play in contributing to healthy communities. Parks Week is coordinated by Parks Forum, the peak body for parks agencies across Australia and New Zealand.



Media enquiries

Kate Milkins
0437 129 031

Parks Victoria media centre

Recent Stories

Help plan the future of Lake Boort Reserve

Tuesday 28 June, 2016
Parks Victoria and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation have released the draft management plan for Lake Boort Reserve…

Fish century highlights incredible marine life

Monday 27 June, 2016
Victoria’s spectacular world beneath the sea is in the spotlight again as a dedicated team of volunteer divers celebrates 100…

Geo-bands to track Red-necked Stints on global flights

Friday 24 June, 2016
Parks Victoria rangers and volunteers have helped band over 250 red-necked stint at Yallock Creek south of Pakenham with the…

Winter fun awaits at Mt Donna Buang this snow season

Friday 24 June, 2016
Snow season is just around the corner and with snow expected any day, Mount Donna Buang is almost ready for…

Experience serenity and the beauty of the Dandenong Ranges Gardens this winter.

Friday 24 June, 2016
Melbournians love our gardens in the Dandenong Ranges but many have never experienced their favourite garden during winter which is…

Rare Aboriginal Hearth Discovery on Point Nepean

Thursday 23 June, 2016
A rare find has been made on the Mornington Peninsula, in Point Nepean National Park, with the discovery of an…

View all media releases