Peace and Prosperity Garden


Kitchen Garden Program

The Governor with the first group of participants.A Kitchen Garden Program is being sponsored by the Governor and Mr Howard at Government House as part of their aim to open up the property to a
diverse range of Victorian community members and uses.

The garden’s name reflects the State’s motto: “Peace and Prosperity”.

As the first female Governor of Victoria, the Governor wanted to develop a Program that supports women.

The Program’s aim is for the kitchen garden to provide an enjoyable and inclusive environment where migrant women can build social connections, feel an increased sense of belonging in their community, and have a further opportunity to develop their English language skills.

The Program has been developed in partnership with Community Hubs Australia’s ‘National Community Hubs Program’ which has 22 Community Hubs across Melbourne. These Community Hubs, of which the Scanlon Foundation is a key supporter, assist family members to overcome the barriers and challenges they face, such as the isolation migrant women can experience, by engaging them in a range of ‘living in Australia’ themed activities.

The first group of 20 women to undertake the Program in term one, 2017, were from Community Hubs in the City of Hume located at Meadow Heights, Coolaroo South and Bethal Primary Schools. In 2017, groups of women will also come from Community Hubs in the City of Brimbank and the City of Dandenong.

As part of the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden Program, the women are involved in activities alongside other Community Hub members from their local community, and are encouraged to develop their everyday English language skills.

The activities may include:

  • Cooking and Nutrition: Lunch preparation, cooking harvested vegetables and fruits, preserving and pickling, making jams and preserves
  • Gardening: planting, watering, weeding and harvesting
  • Tours of Government House by Mr Howard: To more fully understand the role of the Governor and the contemporary use of the House
  • Learning: Creative activities and guest speakers
  • Participants have volunteered to be part of the Program, and choose what activities they undertake. A horticulturist has been employed to maintain the Kitchen Garden.


View a report by Channel 9's Jo Hall on the Program.


 Cooking and sharing meals is a popular aspect of the program.     Cooking produce from the garden.


Design Initiative for Tertiary Students 


Tertiary students arriving at the garden for a site visit.

As part of the creation of the Peace and Prosperity Garden, teriary design students have been given an opportunity to design structural elements.

About 60 design students from Deakin University, RMIT, Monash University and the University of Melbourne are designing a garden entrance, gates, shade and garden furniture as part of their course work.

The brief asks the students to ensure that their designs creatively interpret the ‘Peace and Prosperity’ theme, make a respectful contribution to the Government House landscape, can be readily constructed and are functional and durable.

All students conducted site visits to the garden as part of the project, and some returned to view the Kitchen Garden Program in action and to speak with the participants.

The Governor and Mr Howard extended this opportunity to students as part of their support for the design and creative industries in Victoria.

As part of the design project, selected students will be invited to present their concepts to a panel and one or more of the students' designs may be incorporated into the final design.




Student Designs Presentedmore

Tertiary students have presented their design concepts for the Peace and Prosperity Garden.