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2023-24 team

2023-24 team

Ambassadors

CGA Board

CGA State Coordinators

Need help? Let us know how we can assist by contacting your State Coordinators:

CGA Regional Coordinators

You can also contact your Regional Coordinators if you need local help:

CGA volunteer support

Website:

Find out more about our Board members…

…who volunteer their time to grow community gardening around Australia

Naomi Lacey — Chairperson

Naomi is a permaculturalist who is passionate about promoting healthy food systems, sustainable lifestyles, and cultivating community. She helped to establish the first community garden in the satellite city of Palmerston near Darwin and from there became involved with Community Gardens Australia (CGA) in 2015 then took on the role of President in 2019.

Naomi believes that community gardens have a pivotal role to play in ensuring better health outcomes for Australians, building community, addressing the climate crisis, reducing waste, and educating people.

Awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2019 to learn from community garden networks around the world, Naomi’s vision for CGA is to build the organisation into one that supports the growth and needs of community gardens around Australia, providing them with education, support, resources, and sustenance to continue their work and therefore their positive impact on the communities they reside in.

You can contact Naomi at: president@communitygarden.org.au

Janet Aitchison — Secretary

Janet Aitchison’s first experience with community gardens came in Brooklyn, New York where she helped run a native plant garden and composting program for eight years. 

Now a resident of Australia, she is working with her neighbours to establish a community garden in the town of Avoca Beach, NSW. 

Janet also runs a Dunecare group in the town, and volunteers at the local council nursery where she propagates plants for use in local landcare sites. 

You can contact Janet at: secretary@communitygarden.org.au

Sajai Samuel — Treasurer

Sajai has always been a plant lover and enjoys delving into the world of plants and veggies and watching as they grow and flourish.   

Though he has only recently been introduced to the world of community gardening, he can see significant benefits from growing one’s own food promoting healthy eating, as well as fostering community building.  

He believes that it has numerous benefits for individuals, communities and the economy at large and advocates for more people to get involved in community gardening.

You can contact Sajai at: treasurer@communitygarden.org.au

Jane Mowbray — membership coordinator

Jane Mowbray has been a community gardener and seed saver for a couple of decades. She joined her local community garden in Sydney hoping to find or recruit more seed savers but instead, she became a dedicated community gardener. Jane believes there is nothing that provides a better sense of belonging to a community and to the wonders of the natural world than being part of a community garden. 

You can contact Jane at: membership@communitygarden.org.au

Jo Dean — Tasmanian coordinator

Jo is a permaculturalist based in Northern Tasmania who works closely with community groups in the region and abroad sharing her passion for living in a way that enhances community resilience. 

She has a background in Landcare and garden-based community development, with a specific interest in family/community scale organic food production, mostly focusing on working with nature to create a dynamic, healthy soil biome. Jo loves to share her passion for growing health-giving food through education programs in schools, colleges, community settings, universities, and through short videos.

There are so many benefits for the community when people have the desire and skills to grow their own food. We should never underestimate the capacity of a community garden to meet the needs of individuals. By spending time in the great outdoors, meeting like-minded people, keeping physically fit and connecting with the community, a community garden is a wonderful meeting place where people care for each other and share in a way that benefits everyone. I love it! :)”

Jo Dean

You can connect with her at: jo.dean@communitygarden.org.au

Sharlene Cohen

“Yum Yum in your Tum Tum!” That’s my motto, capturing the excitement I bring to food, community, and sustainability. I’m a businesswoman with a deep passion for the environment. My company, Urban Rewild, leads grassroots projects in Africa, fueled by my drive to make a difference.

Community gardens are my favourite places, where I see the true spirit of ‘community’. I started gardening for the health and healing it brought me after the bushfires of 2019 on the South Coast of NSW. It became a way to find peace and connect with others.

I’m also dedicated to promoting food security and educating people about the journey food takes from farm to table. It’s alarming how quickly our food sources can be disrupted, so I believe everyone should know how to grow their own fruits and vegetables. And, of course, I think it’s essential to enjoy what we grow—hence, “Yum Yum in our Tum Tum!”

I’m excited to bring my passion and energy for food, environment, community, and education to the CGA board. I look forward to helping further the organisation’s mission and promoting the growth of community gardens.

You can contact Sharlene at: sharlene.cohen@communitygarden.org.au

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