Working beyond boundaries improving health and employment outcomes for refugees

Parks Victoria
Publié: 26 mars 2015
Dernière modification: 11 juin 2021
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Parks Victoria and AMES Australia are running a successful partnership program – Working Beyond Boundaries - in Melbourne's culturally diverse western suburbs. It helps refugees gain employment and language skills while connecting with their local park, to the benefit of people and the park.


The program includes a thriving community kitchen garden, a horticultural educational facility and traineeship employment program. It helps reduce isolation, improve food security, wellbeing and enhance employment opportunities for new and emerging communities.


The program was initially aimed at addressing impacts of isolation among women from new and emerging communities. It then expanded to create pathways to employment, improve workplace English and networking opportunities. It quickly became an important community hub and meeting place for socialising and learning, attracting people from a range of culturally and linguistically diverse communities.


Échelle de la mise en œuvre
Espaces verts (parcs, jardins, forêt urbaine)
Écosystème urbain
Acteurs locaux
Santé et bien-être humain
Sécurité alimentaire
Changements dans le contexte socio-culturel
Conflit social et troubles civils
Manque de sécurité alimentaire
Chômage / pauvreté


Victoria, Australia

Les impacts positifs

Health benefits - The program offers new and emerging communities in Melbourne’s west benefits for their mental, physical, cultural and spiritual wellbeing, and has seen remarkable improvements in the park. Social isolation has been reduced and the mental health of participants has seen a strong positive improvement. 


Food security for migrant communities in Melbourne’s west has been improved with increased food production being used for meals for those in need.


Improved employment opportunities - As the program helps people gain “job ready” and language skills while connecting with their local park through kitchen gardens and horticulture tasks it increases their chance of finding meaningful and suitable employment in their new country. Many younger members involved have secured employment in local market gardens as a result.


The kitchen garden’s success led to the development of a Parks Victoria pathways program for young adults interested in a career in horticulture or conservation and land management.


Park health - As part of the program, participants are also rejuvenating formal gardens and other areas around the park, growing many of the plants in the nursery, as well as establishing and maintaining the kitchen garden. Many areas of the park that formerly could not be maintained are now well cared for and in better health.


Contribué par

Tanya Smith