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Growing Refugee Communities:
Social Development and Community Gardens

Community Development Evening Presentation held on 3 August 2015

Cultivating Communities: The Social Role of Botanic Gardens

Phil Pettitt

This presentation will discuss the guiding principles behind community gardens as a form of social development. This includes outlining the success of Australia’s very own Community Greening program, a partnership between Housing NSW and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. Since its inception in 2000, Community Greening education horticulturists have helped hundreds of marginalized communities including refugee young people in NSW to establish communal garden projects primarily in public housing estates, on Council land, in churches and schools. This presentation will finish up on some of the key outcomes of these programs.

Watch the presentation video


Planting the Seeds with Refugee Survivors: Social Capital and Community Gardening

Des Dejrangsi

Des is STARTTS’ multitalented Enterprise facilitator project officer. He is a qualified engineer and has worked in the manufacturing sector for Qantas and Reem. Des has also worked in the hospitality and tourism sector industry; opening two Thai restaurants in Sydney’s northern beaches and running his own adventure tours company. In the late 90’s Des was contracted to establish a dairy farm in Western Thailand. He cites this as the beginning of his formal career in community development. In 2006 he returned to Australia where he began working in job services sector. He has been officially running Enterprise facilitation programs with people from refugee backgrounds since 2008.

Watch the presentation video


Watch the Q & A video