Connecting with the Community at PepperTree Place

Tuesday 22 March 2016

PepperTree Place community garden and nursery in Coburg has a vision to become a community hub that nurtures the wellbeing of people and their environment. It was established so the local community could learn essential gardening, cooking and dietary skills and provide connections for community in a shared space in the city.

A group of job seekers participating in a Work for the Dole activity have begun a project to refurbish the site by replacing the entrance fence and gates, creating a new entrance to the nursery and providing visible signs to promote the site. This will make the garden more visually appealing to passing traffic and improve the main pedestrian access.

The PepperTree Work for the Dole project offers participants a range of experiences and opportunities to develop real-life skills in community engagement, trades assistance, building and design, construction and gardening/horticulture. The aim is to develop employability skills which will help the job seekers transition into employment and fulfil the demand for building and construction workers in North West Melbourne.

Ross Parker, the Work for the Dole supervisor at PepperTree said ‘The project to build the decorative entrance gates was really interesting and the group took real ownership of all the different elements. Everyone was involved in the whole project, from the beginning concept drawings to creative design, to undertaking the daily work tasks. I’ve been impressed by the level of involvement. It’s one of the best projects I’ve been involved in.’ 

Decorative entrance gates to PepperTree Place

Decorative entrance gates to PepperTree Place

Expert woodworkers and metal artists were brought in to provide hands-on skills development to show the participants how to cut, weld, and do a number of tasks using different mediums to design and construct the decorative gates and fences that will form the central part of the upgrade.

‘A core part of project is accessibility. We have older participants and participants with disabilities who participate in this interesting and worthwhile activity. We also want to make PepperTree Place accessible for the whole community.’ said Ross.
With the help of the dedicated group of Work for the Dole participants, PepperTree Place’s vision is becoming a reality.

Work for the Dole participants have created a new entrance way to the PepperTree Place nursery

Work for the Dole participants have created a new entrance way to the PepperTree Place nursery.