2021 President’s report
The past 12 months has certainly had it’s share of challenges but it’s also shown what a resilient bunch us community gardeners are. The Community Gardens Australia (CGA) team has been working hard in 2021 to build a strong organisation to support and advocate for community gardening activities in Australia and is so far successful in achieving the goals laid out in our strategic plan.
It has been a time of growth as the Management Committee seeks to establish a solid base upon which we can build a thriving organisation dedicated to community gardening. Our network has expanded substantially due to the establishment of an effective structure to support our State Coordinators and Regional Representatives. A number of other volunteers have joined the ranks as well.
Earlier in the year our long awaited new website and directory of gardens went live thanks to the hard work and dedication of Fiona Campbell and her assistant Moushumi Baxi. This website had to be created from scratch and the vast amount of resources transferred across one at a time – a massive task! Thanks also to Russ Grayson for updating all of our fact sheets at the same time. The website is at the core of our offerings to both members and the public as well as supporting our online membership system so it was a joy to offically release it to the world with Costa in September.
Covid restrictions have been at the forefront of many queries that have come our way, with gardens struggling to interpret mandates from authorities. It’s been a tricky path to tread for many, especially during lockdowns. We have also advocated for a number of gardens, supporting them to have access to continue their activities or to start from scratch with local support.
The Management Committee seeks to continue building awareness of the value of and importance of community gardening to the world we live in. Every day we see the positive impact that time spent in the garden together has, and how those impacts ripple out to grow stronger, more resilient and more aware people and communities.
We truly value our members and are pleased to see a noticeable growth in membership this year. With your ongoing support we will be able to expand our engagement with you, continue to develop our resources and be able to provide more networking opportunities over time. I would also like to thank our wonderful volunteers and the Management Committee who give so much of their time and energy to CGA. You are all incredible!
I hope you all get the most out of the coming growing season in your little patches of community all over the country. Enjoy the connection, nourishment and joy that being a community gardener brings to us all!
- launch of new website, membership system and online directory containing 588 community gardens around Australia
- 58 full members joined CGA
- two State Coordinators and nine Regiona lRepresentatives joined our volunteer team
- three presentations delivered at the Urban Agriculture Forum
- joint participation in the Garden Odyssey live Facebook series with Costa Georgiardis
- participation in Nourishing Matters podcast with Anthea Fawcett from Foodswell
- 6 successful letters of support written encouraging continuation of community gardening activities and access to land
- participation in a Food System Governance study conducted by University of Wollongong, University of Sydney and William Angliss Institute
- strategic plan for 2021-22 developed and being monitored, with a number of organisational policies adopted.