Bennelong Gardens launched with heritage apple trees at Royal Rehab

Several RBF members – Achieve Australia, Royal Rehab, City of Ryde, NSI Meadowbank Campus – are playing key roles in the establishment of a new community project.

Business, government, and community leaders have come together at Royal Rehab in Putney to plant the first apple trees of the Heritage Granny Smith Orchard. The turning of the first sod marked the launch of BENNELONG GARDENS – a joint project working towards large scale social change.

Federal member for Bennelong, John Alexander, planted the first tree as founding sponsor of the project. Working with Achieve Australia and other supporters, BENNELONG GARDENS will address pressing social needs in the community.

“The BENNELONG GARDENS Social Enterprise will see local business, not for profits, and individuals in our community come together with the common goal of creating meaningful employment for people with disability,” Mr Alexander said.

“We are most grateful to local organisations 3M, BD, Pfizer and Rotary North Ryde which have each pledged $1,000 towards the project. In another display of support, Amgen Australia has supplied our promotional brochures at no cost.

“The individual sponsorship of the apple trees to create the Heritage Orchard will cover the set up costs associated with the creation of a social enterprise of this scale,” Mr Alexander said.

Achieve Australia, a leading disability services provider, has been selected by the working party to assume the role of legal entity and administer the collective impact project.

“We are fortunate to have Achieve Australia administering Bennelong Gardens, bringing skills and know-how across social enterprises, disability employment and volunteering to coordinate the participating organisations which will form the backbone of the project,” Mr Alexander continued.

Organisations including Royal Rehab, Ryde City Council, Northern Sydney Institute (Tafe NSW), Australian Native Landscapes and Harris Farm Markets have all offered their expertise to help use local land for large scale community gardens that will grow produce to be sold locally.

Collective impact projects such as the BENNELONG GARDENS gives everyone the chance to get involved and be part of something that will make a big difference in the lives of people who live in our community.

“We all have a role to play and I encourage organisations and individuals to get on board by donating or volunteering,” Mr Alexander concluded.

For organisations or community members interested in donating or providing practical support contact The Office of John Alexander on 9869 4288 or John.Alexander.MP@aph.gov.au for more information.

(This article courtesy of Achieve Australia)))).

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