A kitchen garden program for women of migrant and refugee backgrounds is being sponsored by the Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, and her husband Mr Anthony Howard QC, as part of their vision to open up Government House and its grounds to the Victorian community.

About the program

The Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden Program involves the women visiting Government House weekly, to take part in activities together such as cooking, gardening and handicrafts, as well as enjoying tours of the House and garden.

The program provides the participants with an opportunity to enjoy the company of other women in an inclusive environment and to build social connections, develop an increased sense of belonging in their community and to practise their English language skills.

About 25 women participate in the program each school term. They are members from Community Hubs in schools across Melbourne and are encouraged to reconnect with participants once the program has ended.

Participants volunteer to be part of the program and select their preferred program activities.

A horticulturist is employed to maintain the kitchen garden.

The program was developed in partnership with Community Hubs Australia and the Scanlon Foundation.


Gallery: Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden Program in 2017

The program in action

Visit the Nine News website for a short video on the Kitchen Garden program, presented by Jo Hall.

Scarecrow Program for Students

As part of the development of the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden, selected schools from across the State have been invited to create a scarecrow.

The students involved have visited Government House to officially hand over their scarecrow, have met  the Governor, and have been given a tour of the House. 

The program was developed as a way of opening up Government House to students from special development schools in a creative and fun way.

Among the schools  which have participated are the Warragul and District SDS which made 'The True Angelina'; the Diamond Valley SDS which  made 'Lavender'; Kalianna which made 'Reginald' ;  Bendigo SDS which created Boris; and Croxton SDS which delivered Dennis.

'The whole experience was excellent - the kids came back raving about the day and were on an absolute high. It meant a lot for them to be welcomed at Government House and to have the opportunity to speak with the Governor,' - Warragul and District SDS senior teacher Zoe Armstrong.