Hamersley Habitat Community garden blooms and helps people grow

Monica Sharma (Manager Mirrabooka Adult Community Corrections), Donelle Wilson (Community Garden Coordinator) and Margaret Blackwell (Acting Community Corrections Offcier). Department of Corrective Services have a community service program at Hamersley Habitat Community Garden where detainees work at the garden.
Monica Sharma (Manager Mirrabooka Adult Community Corrections), Donelle Wilson (Community Garden Coordinator) and Margaret Blackwell (Acting Community Corrections Offcier). Department of Corrective Services have a community service program at Hamersley Habitat Community Garden where detainees work at the garden.

WHEN Mirrabooka Corrective Services teamed up with a community garden in Hamersley, the results exceeded the expectations of all involved.

Hamersley Habitat Community Garden joined forces with Mirrabooka Adult Community Corrective Services for a community services program, which has transformed a once-neglected area into an abundant garden and provided opportunities for people serving a court order.

Assistant Community Corrections Officer Margaret Blackwell said she came up with the idea and contacted the City of Stirling who put her in touch with Hamersley Habitat Community garden co-ordinator Donelle Wilson.

Ms Blackwell said groups from Clarkson and Mirrabooka worked on the garden.

“From there it went leaps and bounds and now we’ve been here for 18 months,” she said.

“Some of the offenders who have worked in here have come back to the garden; we’ve never had them so enthusiastic about doing community work before.”

Program participant Luke (not his real name), said he had developed and used his skills in construction, building seats and garden beds.

“It’s therapeutic to work in the garden and it’s good to see the way the community use the garden,” he said.

“I’ve used my skills from a construction background.”

Mirrabooka Adult community corrections manager Monica Sharma said the project had allowed participants to gain valuable skills in construction, gardening and maintenance.

“Community work is a critical part of what we do for adults who are on court community-based orders so this has given them an opportunity to develop skills but also give back to the local community,” she said.

Ms Sharma said she was keen for other councils to get in touch about the furthering the program.