Local community centre unveils garden of hope

Indigo Lemay-ConwaySound Telegraph
The Garden of Hope was officially unveiled last week at the Frank Konecny Community Centre
Camera IconThe Garden of Hope was officially unveiled last week at the Frank Konecny Community Centre

A local community centre has unveiled their new Garden of Hope, aiming to help anyone in a dark place find a bit of positivity.

The Frank Konecny Community Centre officially opened the gates to the garden last week, with Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams cutting the ribbon alongside volunteers and donors who helped build the garden.

Institute of Indigenous Wellbeing and Sport, Kwinana CEO Barry Winmar with Member for Brand Madeleine King and City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams.
Camera IconInstitute of Indigenous Wellbeing and Sport, Kwinana CEO Barry Winmar with Member for Brand Madeleine King and City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams.

Centre manager Sue King said she was “very thankful” for everyone who helped make the garden possible and hoped it would be a step towards showing people that “words matter”.

“It started as a domestic violence garden, but now its grown to be a space where anyone who is in a dark spot can come and take some hope from it,” Ms King said.

“The theme for the garden ‘words matter’ is important because words have the power to change a person’s mindset.

“They connect us to one another, offer support and make us feel seen and that is why the tree behind me is done out of words.”

The garden which took about six weeks to build, has a domestic violence bench to honour victims, and a mailbox where people can leave letters of hope for others to take when they need a bit of positivity in their life.

Cr Adams said the event showed “wonderful community spirit” and the garden held an important message for many people.

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams officially opened the garden.
Camera IconCity of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams officially opened the garden.

“The message behind the garden of hope is to bring domestic violence out in the open. Obviously a lot of it goes on behind closed doors and I think what they’ve done here is a beautiful tribute and a constant reminder for people that domestic violence should not be tolerated,” she said.“The garden of hope gives those who may be experiencing domestic violence an opportunity to come here and have quiet reflection and also access to helpline numbers for all people to be able to use.”

The hotlines on the leaves of the tree are written in glow-in-the-dark paint which Ms King said is so they can be seen at all times of the day.

“Because the garden is on a main road, we wanted people to be able to see these numbers at all times of the day so that anyone who drives or walks past will be able to see them. There’s hotlines for women, men and children because domestic violence doesn’t always just affect one person,” she said.

“I just want everyone to know that this is a safe space for anyone in the community who is in a dark place or experiencing domestic violence to come and find a bit of hope.”

If you or someone you know if experiencing domestic or family violence, 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) is freely available 24/7.

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