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Introduction

The Governor and Mr Howard were pleased to have been able to welcome back participants of the Kitchen Garden Program during Term 2. 

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The Peace & Prosperity Kitchen Garden program works in conjunction with Community Hubs Australia, to welcome women from refugee and migrant backgrounds to participate in a weekly program in the Government House Kitchen Garden. The Program aims to assist the women in making connections with others in their local communities in forming friendships and support networks. 

In 2021, the format of the program has been slightly altered to allow more groups to take part. During Term 2, the women from three Geelong Community Hubs were invited to return as their program in Term 1, 2020, was interrupted by the pandemic.  Groups participating were from the Northern Bay College Community Hub, The Northern Bay Family Centre and the Bell Park North Community Hub.  Each of the three groups participated in two-week programs, which included a tour of the State Apartments and the gardens, and a range of activities such as preserving lemons, and making kokedamas.  The participants of the program  also met with the Governor and Mr Howard, and were able to share their stories. 

Participants  enjoyed learning about the variety of produce in the Kitchen Garden from our horticulturalist, and each program concluded with a picnic lunch on the grounds at Government House.  The program provides a great opportunity to meet other women from diverse backgrounds living in the same area, and to converse about their shared loves of cooking, gardening and family.   

 The majority of women were recent arrivals from Myanmar and Iran as well as Afghanistan, Tanzania, Iraq and Pakistan. Over the course of 2020, some of the participants proudly became Australian citizens, and they were very pleased to have been able to share that news with members of their groups.  

The next program commences in early August, when women from community hubs in Wyndham Park, Tarneit and Truganina will visit Government House weekly.