Today the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency the Honourable Barbara Baker AC, partnered with a number of key community organisations to launch the Government House Community Garden Project.
The garden located within the grounds of Government House will produce fresh, healthy produce to be donated directly to School Food Matters and so play a small role in feeding the future of Tasmania.
As the Patron of Eat Well Tasmania, Her Excellency and the staff at Government House have created a new and exciting project that aims to connect communities, engage with young people and provide fresh, healthy produce to the School Food Matters School Lunch project.
In addition to growing fresh produce, the project will also engage with local schools and students and give Tasmanian students the opportunity to visit Government House, work in the garden and learn about growing and enjoying local fresh produce.
Her Excellency said: “Today’s launch is an important first step in engaging with the community and young people in Tasmania, so that we can provide something back to the community and educate young people about the importance of healthier eating and lifestyles.” The Governor added, “I also have a vision for making Government House more accessible to Tasmanians and projects such as this will help us open the gates to this amazing property and educate people about the role Government House and the Governor plays in the Tasmanian Community.”
Carl Saunder, State Manager of Eat Well Tasmania said at today’s launch: “We are privileged to be able to assist our Patron Her Excellency in bringing this project to life. At Eat Well Tasmania we have a vision of creating healthier Tasmanians and finding ways to improve the capacity and capability of Tasmanians to enjoy fresh, healthy, local produce every day and projects such as this help us achieve that vision”.
Julie Dunbabin, Project Manager of School Food Matters School Lunch Project, stated: “Our program is now in 30 schools across the state, and we are providing over 6000 meals per week to Tasmanian school students. Our project is focused on providing healthy meals to students and with the support of Loaves and Fishes Tasmania we are always looking to partner with community projects and local producers to source fresh produce.”
Dunbabin added, “To see this garden here today and young people being involved in the planting, growing and nurturing of fresh produce not only adds value to our project but inspires young people to engage in healthy eating.”
Andrew Hillier, CEO of Loaves and Fishes Tasmania said: “With the increase in cost of living facing all Tasmanians we are seeing more and more Tasmanians now seeking support from our emergency relief agencies. So, projects such as these not only support the need, but just as importantly they upskill our future generations on how to grow and enjoy home grown, healthy produce.”
Her Excellency said, “Today is the first step in what is hopefully one of a number of new initiatives that help us engage with communities and give back to Tasmanians. I look forward to the development of these projects and seeing a healthier Tasmania for future generations.”
To illustrate further the vision for this project and the impact the School Food Matters School Lunch Project is having, the following short feature has been developed: