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Green shoots for Bennelong Gardens

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: The Office of John Alexander MP and Achieve Australia

Business, government, and community leaders have come together at Royal Rehab in Putney to plant the first apple trees of the Heritage Granny Smith Orchard.2014-10-07 Royal Rehab BG 086 resuzed for website

The turning of the first sod marked the launch of BENNELONG GARDENS – a joint project working towards large scale social change. Federal member for Bennelong, John Alexander, planted the first tree as founding sponsor of the project.

Working with Achieve Australia and other supporters, BENNELONG GARDENS will address pressing social needs in the community. “The BENNELONG GARDENS Social Enterprise will see local business, not for profits, and individuals in our community come together with the common goal of creating meaningful employment for people with disability,” Mr Alexander said.

“We are most grateful to local organisations 3M, BD, Pfizer and Rotary North Ryde which have each pledged $1,000 towards the project.  In another display of support, Amgen Australia has supplied our promotional brochures at no cost.

“The individual sponsorship of the apple trees to create the Heritage Orchard will cover the set up costs associated with the creation of a social enterprise of this scale,” Mr Alexander said. Achieve Australia, a leading disability services provider, has been selected by the working party to assume the role of legal entity and administer the collective impact project.

“We are fortunate to have Achieve Australia administering Bennelong Gardens, bringing skills and know-how across social enterprises, disability employment and volunteering to coordinate the participating organisations which will form the backbone of the project,” Mr Alexander continued.

Organisations including Royal Rehab, Ryde City Council, Northern Sydney Institute (Tafe NSW), Australian Native Landscapes and Harris Farm Markets have all offered their expertise to help use localland for large scale community gardens that will grow produce to be sold locally.

Collective impact projects such as the BENNELONG GARDENS gives everyone the chance to get involved and be part of something that will make a big difference in the lives of people who live in our community.

“We all have a role to play and I encourage organisations and individuals to get on board by donating or volunteering,” Mr Alexander concluded.

For organisations or community members interested in donating or providing practical support contact The Office of John Alexander on 9869 4288 or for more information.

About Bennelong Gardens
BENNELONG GARDENS will be a commercially profitable Community Gardens run by volunteers using vacant council and government land across the electorate of Bennelong. In consultation with local councils, around 100 acres across Bennelong has been identified for commercial gardens development. The unused land will be used for large scale community gardens, and produce can be sold by local shops. Volunteers and retirees will join people with disability employed on site, who will have shares in the business and derive an income from the produce in order to gain some economic independence. Achieve Australia has taken on the administration role.

About Achieve Australia
Achieve Australia (Achieve), a Sydney based not-for-profit since 1952 and leader in the provision of disability care and support in Australia, is showing the way in changing the face of disability services by being actively involved in supporting choice and fresh initiatives for people with disability. Achieve provides more than 300,000 hours of support annually to 500 people through a range of essential supports and services including community living, day services, employment, and commercial operations including unique social enterprises.


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