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2023 CGA Award Winners

2023 CGA Award Winners

1. Community Champion Award

How has your community garden connected to other groups and individuals in the local community?
How have these connections impacted those involved? If you were to win, how would you use this recognition to grow in the future and further expand community.

Winner: Lalor Park Community Garden, Lalor Park, NSW

Community engagement has always been a key objective for the Lalor Park Community Garden from the onset. Our committee is always looking at how we can continue to engage our members with organised working bees and events but sharing food is a real drawcard. Not just sharing the harvest but together they cook produce grown in the community garden for a shared lunch after a morning of gardening together.

Wider community engagement has seen our group participating in local community events like markets, Christmas Carols and school fetes. We regularly have students visit on school excursions; from preschools, primary and high school to learn about food production, composting and small garden wildlife. We encourage other organisations to utilise the space for their own workshops and events. We’ve hosted a book launch, kids cooking classes by Oz Harvest, corporate parties, men’s support group BBQ dinners, home school groups, Naidoc and mental health events.

The most popular and successful event is our annual Corn Festival. A large crop of corn is grown for a large community dinner in the community garden, inviting everyone to help us pick and eat the corn. We usually host 150-200 people for the evening and it’s lovely to see many visitors bringing in food to share and meeting their community.

All of these connections have vital impacts. Students are amazed and inspired by their experience in the garden. We’ve worked hard to make the garden accessible for all abilities and inclusive for those especially who may be isolated, whether by language barrier, age, or culture. The garden is a friendly relaxed space for them to enjoy, make connections and feel welcome to return. All events are run by volunteer members who value the work and the ripples they are making in their community. They are shaping it, investing themselves to make this a place they enjoy living. Recognition is a reward for our hard-working members. As a not-for-profit, awards can assist us when applying for grants or liaising with the council for construction work approvals. As we have improved our facilities over the years and grown the project so too does our community engagement.

View our map listing for Lalor Park Community Garden.

2. Community Gardener of the Year Award

Do you have someone in your community garden who goes above and beyond to help others and/or help the running of the garden? Who (PLEASE PROVIDE NAME)? What are the attributes displayed by this member of your garden? (e.g. great Organiser, welcomes people, compost hero, provides sustenance for gardeners, is always at working bees, takes care of the chickens, shares knowledge constructively etc.)

Winner: Errol Davis, Gwandalan & Summerland Point Community Garden, Gwandalan, NSW

A person in our garden who goes above and beyond is Errol Davis. He works in the garden at least three days a week, and over the last two years has managed to acquire many loads of second-hand pavers that he has had to dig up, cart to the garden, and then lay them. A hard laborious job, which he intends to continue until all our paths are paved. He also does all the mulching of our garden waste and looks after our watering system. Acquiring several 1000 litre extra tanks, setting them up, and looking after our dripper system on our vast number of fruit trees. However, the one thing that I am very proud of what he does is the time he spends talking to the children, answering their questions and encouraging them. After all the children are our future.

Visit the map listing of the garden here.

3. Young Community Gardener Award

Do you have an exceptional young person in your community garden who goes above and beyond to help others and/or help the running of the garden? Who (PLEASE PROVIDE NAME)? What are the attributes displayed by this young person in your garden? How has this individual demonstrated their commitment to the group and to growing food sustainably? What ideas inspire their day-to-day practices?

Winner: ​​Dylan Lamont of Coleambally Community Garden, Coleambally, NSW

Dylan has helped build and create the Share Waste compost stations with his old Mate Pete. Dylan visits regularly to check how his favourite plants are going. Dylan is currently helping build our shade/ hot house. Dylan has constructed different types of garden beds, painted signs, weeds and waters. He has done most of the work at the gardens. It is Dylans love of bush foods that have inspired the organises to create more bush foods, to then become a mirco business. Dylan loves showing new people the garden, especially the plants we can eat now. Dylan loves to cook so another motivation is to grow food.

Visit the map listing for the garden here.

4. Sustainability Champion Award

How has your garden improved resilience and sustainability in your area? eg. using local products, collecting veggie scraps from neighbours, sharing compost with the community, growing your own mulch plants, carpooling to save petrol etc

Winner: Yarra Valley ECOSS, Wesburn, VIC

We collect the food scraps from the local Vipassana centre to compost for the community garden, we also have a Community Compost Hub onsite. We are using biochar in our compost to help carbon drawdown. We are also selling BioChar. We run a weekly produce market on site every Friday and sell some of our produce to raise funds to go back to the garden. We have started a silviculture patch, and have been making furniture from milling onsite.

Biodiversity Champion

What is your garden doing to promote biodiversity in the garden and/or in the wider community? What would you like to do more of in the future?

Winner: Ediblescapes, Nerang, QLD

Ediblescapes is an urban Edible Forest Garden that has adapted biointensive deep sponge soil into permagarden practices cultivating fruit trees together with crop food.  During 2023, Ediblescapes became a syntropic mother placenta of a new agroforestry zone by propagating and nurturing trees for the new project.

Urban agroforestry represents a potential multidimensional solution to present-day food insecurity issues and climate change mitigation action while building a permanent urban resilient regenerative native and cosmopolitan Edible Rainforest for all living beings of tomorrow.

Visit the map listing for the garden here.

6. Permaculture Champion

How has your garden incorporated permaculture practices into its operation? eg. utilising zones, incorporating animals, waste reduction methods, use of natural materials, use of swales, sharing excess etc

Winner: Warrane Community Garden (WSG), Warrane, TAS

WCG is based on a permaculture design informed by community consultation. Supported by a 10-hour paid coordinator role it has been powered by volunteers and developed through various blitzes to establish the food forest, install beds and orchards, create the native patch, and manage weeds.

>Ethic examples:

  • People care: welcoming and supporting all volunteers & visitors, accessible pathways and bathroom.
  • Earth care: water tanks, composting, no use of overly harmful pesticides & herbicides, companion planting, biodiversity planting, orchard swales
  • Fair share: sharing of surplus and knowledge through produce and plant swaps, share stand distribution, free workshops, skill shares& informal knowledge exchange.

Visit the map listing for the garden here.

7. Bush Tucker Garden

Is your garden involved in growing, showcasing and educating their community about Indigenous foods and their uses? Please explain how your community garden has demonstrated their commitment to bush tucker.

Winner: Warrnambool Community Garden, Warnambool, VIC

Our garden is a significant area for First Nations people and we prides itself on our relationship with our local indigenous peoples and our bushfood garden.

We have an area that is dedicated to learning about indigenous plants, their uses and how we can add them to our diets. Several years ago we created a bushfood harvest guide to indigenous plants to help identify local plants and how they can be used and make this available for free on our website.

Visit the map listing for the garden here.

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