Bush garden in Redfern

Wednesday, July 31, 1991

Bush garden in Redfern

By Stuart Wax
and David Brazil

SYDNEY — Inner-city Redfern is to be the unlikely location for an organic garden, established by the Aboriginal community.

Community leader Margaret Vincent explains that the garden originated when she was approached by a group of women wanting to help fund a project in the Redfern area. The Women's Aboriginal Garden Project was created, and Vincent says she has been "shell-shocked" by the response of the community.

The garden is currently about half an acre, but there are plans to increase the size with the approval of South Sydney County Council.

The site used to be a row of old buildings that have long since been torn down and removed. The garden will have a variety of fruits and flowers which are traditional Aboriginal food sources.

As Vincent puts it: if you can't bring the people to the bush, bring the bush to the people. She sees the urban Aboriginal community losing touch with its rural beginnings. Kids' learning about their history is sometimes blurred by the reality of city life.

The growing of bush flowers and fruits like bush lemons and lilly pillies, and the use of natural pesticides, are only the beginning of what Vincent calls a more self-supporting and independent community.

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