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Kiama Primary School Garden Opening

13 November 2011 5 Comments

I had the day off work on Friday, and happily it coincided with the official opening of the Kiama Primary School Garden.

Remember I was awarded a Permaculture Design Certificate scholarship by my local council? One of the other recipients was Maria, a teacher from Kiama Primary School, and she’s been heavily involved in getting this garden up and running. I’m helping to get a similar garden (although perhaps not quite on the same scale!) going at Jamberoo Primary School as the community project aspect of my PDC scholarship, so it was a great opportunity to gather ideas.

Here’s Maria (in the checked shirt) speaking at the opening ceremony:

During the ceremony, all the school kids were lined up along the swales to watch:

Costa Georgiadis (from Costa’s Garden Odyssey on SBS TV) was the celebrity guest and keynote speaker. What a great guy! He was funny, informative, and has an incredible way of relating to kids with irreverent humour and infectious enthusiasm. Here’s Costa with our mayor, Sandra McCarthy, and Vanessa John (Environmental Strategy Officer at Wollongong Council, and coordinator of the PDC scholarship programme) presenting students with some fruit trees for the garden:

Costa was a hit with the kids, mucking around and having fun in the garden:

And of course, I couldn’t resist getting a photo with Costa!

This garden was designed by Aaron Sorensen, and built and maintained under the guidance of him and Dan Deighton (along with Maria, of course!). These two guys have done an awful lot of amazing work at schools around the Illawarra. You can read more about Aaron and Dan’s work with schools over at the Milkwood Permaculture site – Kiama Primary School Garden (showing what the site looked like back in April, when it was just getting started) and Cringila Primary School Garden. The Cringila site was also covered on ABC Open (with video!).

I’ll write a follow-up post in the next couple of days to give you a tour of the garden.

Update: Here’s the promised follow-up: Kiama Primary School Permaculture Garden Tour.

Organic food growing for beginners manual.


  • Kirsten Bradley said:

    Fantastic! Great to see this garden blooming – Aaron + Dan (and Maria) have done such a great job on this one… Thanks for posting 🙂

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Kirsten: It’s a great garden, and a fantastic resource for the school. Hope you enjoy the follow-up article as well.

  • Amanda Walsh said:

    Hi Darren. I just came across your website. Well done!! (On the sustainability journey and on finding the time to blog about it so well!) I look forward to seeing more pics of the Kiama garden and (in time) your Jamberoo project. My kids’ school (in Canberra) is involved in a new community garden project – it’s still at the ‘ideas gathering’ stage, so I’d gladly pinch some ideas from you!! Cheers, Amanda.

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Amanda: Wow! It’s been a long time! Hope you also enjoy the follow-up tour, and get some ideas from it for your school garden.

  • Kiama Primary School Permaculture Garden Tour said:

    […] This post follows on from Kiama Primary School Garden Opening. […]